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QUEEN & SLIM – The Contenders


Universal’s ‘Us’ And ‘Queen & Slim’ Roam A Broken American Dream – The Contenders LA

By Geoff Boucher

Queen & Slim Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde

he ominous caverns that may be hidden below the fractured landscape of contemporary America are the violent playground for two Universal Pictures films, Us and Queen & Slim, that were represented on Saturday at Deadline’s The Contenders Los Angeles by two filmmakers who plugged into the nightmare side of the American Dream with fascinating results.

First to the stage was Melina Matsoukas, who made her directorial debut this year with the Universal/Makeready spree film Queen & Slim, which follows in tradition of Natural Born Killers, Bonnie & Clyde, Thelma & Louise and other outlaw-duo-on-the-run tales.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on November 2, 2019 by Editor

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It’s Not What It Was Meant To Be, But Then Again Yes It Is

from Greenwich Time

How the Internet lost its soul

by Janet Abbate, The Washington Post

This week, we celebrate what many consider the 50th birthday of the Internet. The underpinnings of the World Wide Web originated in an American communications network built for national defense and the pursuit of knowledge: ARPANET. Funded by the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, the network was designed so that scientists could share computer hardware, software and data.

It worked. In the ensuing decades, the ARPANET, and after the 1980s, the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), did indeed allow scientists to collaboratively build knowledge around networked tools and information. But expanding access to the Internet, combined with looser government regulations, ultimately produced a situation no one foresaw or intended. On today’s Internet, conspiracy theories run rampant, identities can be faked and our real-life elections are vulnerable to manipulation. A network designed for spreading truth became a profit-driven industry, a public sphere that threatens to undermine the public good.

[ click to continue reading at Greenwich Time ]

Posted on November 1, 2019 by Editor

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Aztec Underground

from The Daily Express

Aztec breakthrough: Archaeologists discover shock tunnel world hidden beneath Mexico City

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered a secret Aztec tunnel world nestled below the busy streets of Mexico’s capital city.


The ancient water tunnel is thought to have been built by Emperor Montezuma I in the 15th century. Inscriptions, carvings and paintings inside, as well as the tunnel itself, are thought to be linked to the Empire’s god of water and fertility, Tlaloc.

Announcing the discovery, the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) revealed they had found the densely decorated tunnel in the city of Ecatepec de Morelos within the central state of Mexico.

Several carvings out of rock were found inside, as well as chunks of statue thought to have unbounded archaeological value.

According to local media, researchers found 11 carved images on the wall of the tunnel, which measured 27.5ft long, as well as the remains of a wooden gate.

[ click to continue reading at Daily Express ]

Posted on October 31, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Not Bonnie & Clyde

from the LA Times

Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas don’t want you comparing ‘Queen & Slim’ to ‘Bonnie and Clyde’


Lena Waithe, left, and Melina Matsoukas at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.
Lena Waithe, left, and Melina Matsoukas at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles.(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

For “Queen & Slim,” screenwriter Lena Waithe’s meditation on race relations and police brutality, director Melina Matsoukas drew visual inspiration from sources as diverse as Alfonso Cuarón’s 2001 dramedy “Y Tu Mamá También” and Spike Lee’s 1989 classic “Do the Right Thing.” But the biggest influence came straight from YouTube.

“One of the key references for me has been real life, authentic struggles in the black community,” said Matsoukas, who makes her feature debut with the movie, in theaters on Thanksgiving. “I watched a lot of YouTube videos of black people being pulled over by the police or encountering law enforcement and it not necessarily ending well. Unfortunately, there are so many of those videos, but they were a major influence in how I wanted to approach shooting the opening scene.”

Starring Daniel Kaluuya and newcomer Jodie Turner-Smith, our protagonists (known simply as Slim and Queen until the end) are forced on the run within the first 10 minutes of the movie. “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey pitched the idea for the opening to Waithe at a party.

“He was like, ‘Yo, I have this idea for a movie that I can’t write,’” she remembered. “And I was like ‘What’s that?’”

Frey described a scenario in which a black couple driving home from a first date are pulled over by a cop and forced to kill him in self-defense. “I was like, ‘You’re right, you shouldn’t write that,’” said Waithe. “But then we exchanged information. I think he thought he was never going to hear from or see me again, but it just stayed with me.”

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on October 30, 2019 by Editor

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Robert Evans Gone

from Variety

Robert Evans, ‘Chinatown’ Producer and Paramount Chief, Dies at 89


Robert Evans, the Paramount executive who produced “Chinatown” and “Urban Cowboy,” and whose life became as melodramatic and jaw-dropping as any of his films, died on Saturday night. He was 89.

Even though Hollywood history is filled with colorful characters, few can match the tale of Evans, whose life would seem far-fetched if it were fiction. With his matinee-idol looks, but little acting talent, Evans was given starring roles in a few movies and then, with no studio experience, was handed the production reins at Paramount in the 1960s. When he left the exec ranks, his first film as a producer was the classic “Chinatown,” and he followed with other hits, like “Marathon Man” and “Urban Cowboy.” Eventually, his distinctive look and speaking style turned him into a cult figure, and he had the distinction of being the only film executive who starred in his own animated TV series.

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Posted on October 28, 2019 by Editor

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Garden of Eden Found

from Sky News

Garden of Eden in Africa: Humanity’s first home traced to Botswana 

A study provides a window into the first 100,000 years of the history of modern humans.

The paradise. By Paul de Vos (1591 - 1678). Oil on canvas
The Paul de Vos oil painting depicts the Garden of Eden

The real Garden Of Eden has been traced to the African nation of Botswana, according to a major study of DNA.

Scientists believe our ancestral homeland is south of the Zambezi River in the country’s north.

The conclusion comes after the study of maternal genetic lineage of anatomically modern humans, finding it was closest to those living in the area, which includes northern Botswana, Namibia to the west and Zimbabwe to the east.

[ click to continue reading at Sky News ]

Posted on October 27, 2019 by Editor

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Posted on October 27, 2019 by Editor

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Another Mona?

from The Daily Beast

The Secret Battle Over Mona Lisa’s Prettier ‘Twin’

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre. But a second, earlier painting is at the heart of a multi-million-dollar battle to prove its authenticity and ownership.

by Barbie Latza Nadeau

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Public Domain

ROME—When the long-awaited Leonardo da Vinci exhibition celebrating the Italian master’s life opened in the Louvre in Paris this week, two paintings were noticeably missing from the exhibit hall—and they are both of the same woman. 

Despite being one of Leonardo’s most famous works, the Louvre decided not to relocate the “Mona Lisa” from her recently renovated viewing room to the exhibit space created to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. Visitors will instead have to traipse across a hall through the selfie-taking crowds to see her where she normally hangs. 

The second painting that Leonardo aficionados will miss is what many believe is an earlier version of the “Mona Lisa,” which shows a much younger—and dare we say—prettier version of Lisa Gherardini del Giocondo, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, who commissioned the work in the early 1500s. 

The existence of an earlier “Mona Lisa” has dogged art experts for centuries. 

[ click to continue reading at TDB ]

Posted on October 25, 2019 by Editor

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X-Wing 911?

from InsideHook

Porsche Is Designing a New Vehicle for Star Wars

The starship will be unveiled at the “Rise of Skywalker” premiere


Porsche Star Wars Starship
What would a Porsche look like in the Star Wars universe?
We’re about to find out. PORSCHE AG

This week, Porsche announced its most futuristic design of all time. No, we’re not talking about a new version of its Taycan EV. This is a vehicle so far, far away from everything they’ve designed before that it won’t be measured in something as earthly as miles per hour — it’ll be measured in megalight per hour. 

That’s right, the German marque is working on a new vehicle for Star Wars. “Designers at Porsche AG and Lucasfilm Ltd. are collaborating on a fantasy starship design that will be presented at the world premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” according to a press release. 

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on October 24, 2019 by Editor

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Frey (and Fielden!) @ Grace Farms

from Page Six

Grace Farms Foundation fundraiser brings stars to Connecticut

By Page Six Team

Jay Fielden
Jay Fielden / Getty Images for Hearst

“It’s time to open the dance floor — like open sesame,” jazz pianist-turned-“rockjazz” composer and in-demand DJ Elew instructed the crowd at the Grace Farms Foundation’s fourth-anniversary celebration in New Canaan, Conn., on Saturday night.

Attendees enthusiastically obeyed and got down as Elew spun tunes from rap to AC/DC, with saxophonist Marcus G. Miller blowing his horn live on the dance floor.

Among the VIP crowd of 300 at the upscale humanitarian shindig were foundation founder Sharon Prince, event co-chairs Abby Bangser and Amanda Martocchio, former Esquire editor Jay Fielden, author James Frey, jewelry designer Monique Péan, skin-care guru Tata Harper, Blum & Poe partner Matt Bangser, “Chopped”-winning chef Silvia Baldini and British socialite Lexi Bowes-Lyon (cousin of William and Harry).

[ click to continue reading at Page Six ]

Posted on October 23, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM’s Jodie Turner Smith


‘Queen & Slim’ Star Jodie Turner-Smith Has Us Under Her Spell



When it was announced last year that Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas had tapped a relatively unknown Jodie Turner-Smith to star in their film Queen & Slim, playing opposite Daniel Kaluuya, fresh from his Oscar-nominated role in Get Out, the Internet began chattering about the striking British-Jamaican actress. Some remembered Turner-Smith from her star turn as Melantha Jhirl in SyFy’s Nightflyers and her appearance in Zayn Malik’s “Pillowtalk” video. But in Queen & Slim, directed by Matsoukas, written by Waithe from a story by James Frey, the actress is poised to make her mark as a leading lady.

In the flick, there’s a scene in which Turner-Smith glides slowly into frame after her uncle’s girlfriend-—played by Pose’s Indya Moore—takes out her braids so as to be less recognizable to the authorities chasing her. At Turner-Smith’s arrival, the audible gasp from the audience at an early screening dispelled any notion that the actress was someone who would shrink into the background. When the film hits theaters on November 27, viewers won’t be able to take their eyes off her. 

Turner-Smith has a powerful presence. A captivating beauty whose sultry energy makes her a scene-stealer, she’s thoughtful when speaking. And while she began her career playing a siren on HBO’s True Blood and popped up in projects like TNT’s The Last Ship, it was only a year ago that she caught our attention in the adaptation of the George R. R. Martin novella Nightflyers.

[ click to continue reading at ESSENCE ]

Posted on October 22, 2019 by Editor

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da Vinci at 500

from AP

Louvre exhibit acclaims Da Vinci, 500 years after his death


The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Leonardo da Vinci during a visit at the Louvre museum Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 in Paris. A unique group of artworks is displayed at the Louvre museum in addition to its collection of paintings and drawings by the Italian master. The exhibition opens to the public on Oct.24, 2019. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

PARIS (AP) — Much about Leonardo Da Vinci remains an enigma: the smile of the “Mona Lisa”; why the world’s most famous painter left so many works unfinished; and more recently, who bought the contentious “Salvator Mundi.”

A new exhibit at the Louvre, however, opening Thursday and marking the 500th anniversary of the Italian master’s death, tries to sketch out as complete a picture of the artist and thinker as possible.

Drawing from the Louvre’s permanent collection and institutions around the world, the exhibit brings together some 160 works. They include Da Vinci masterpieces, dozens of studies and scientific sketches, and pieces by other artists in Da Vinci’s orbit. Visitors can also experience a virtual reality portion of the exhibit that delves into the story behind the “Mona Lisa.”

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on October 21, 2019 by Editor

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Naked Dreaming

from Nautilus

Why You Keep Dreaming About Being Naked

Are the common elements in our dreams the result of basic biology, or something deeper?


JUNG’S PHANTASMS: On page 125 of his Red Book, Jung depicts a golden mandala above a landscape depicted in folk art style. Between them is a levitating yogi. Jung believed that all humans and animals share a collective unconscious, from which we draw much of the imagery that appears in dreams across cultures. Reprinted from The Red Book by C. G. Jung. Copyright © 2009 by the Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

I was naked. So was Laura,” begins one dream of the more than 20,000 collected in G. William Domhoff’s DreamBank. “I was re-stringing an unvarnished electric bass, so I guess it was naked, too. At one point I put a screw in to secure a string, but then realized I wasn’t holding the bass but Laura…” The dream is one of many “naked” entries in the database, and Domhoff says dreams about being naked or exposed in public in ways that betray a fear of embarrassment are widely reported. But why?

Domhoff, a distinguished professor emeritus specializing in psychology at the University of California-Santa Cruz, has spent years collecting self-reported dreams in journals and laboratory settings, meticulously tagging and cataloguing each one. An outdoor setting, for example, is marked with an OU, a familiar character with a K, and physical activity with a P. Individual dreams can then be described with their own idiosyncratic combination of labeled elements. Domhoff calls this coding system “quantitative content analysis.” He’s concluded that at least some dreams have universal elements related to common human preoccupations and concerns.

The psychoanalysts have a vested interest in destroying my argument.

Some “typical” dreams long studied for their figurative meaning—such as dreams where you fly under your own power, or where your teeth fall out—don’t occur nearly as often as people think (flying dreams, for example, make up only about one-half of 1 percent of all dreams). But many people dream about being naked, or about physical journeys that might stand in for fraught everyday dilemmas, such as being thwarted in a quest for success. “We are walking down hall after hall,” one of the dreams in Domhoff’s database reads. “We are looking for a restaurant. We climb laboriously up ladders and get to a top floor to find out the restaurant is closed. I am upset and afraid of going back down.”

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on October 17, 2019 by Editor

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Posted on October 14, 2019 by Editor

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Lena On LA

from AdWeek

Lena Waithe on Why LA Was the Perfect Place to Make Her Dreams Come True

The prolific writer, producer and actor’s first feature film is debuting next month

By Lisa Lacy

Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2006.
Photography by Lelanie Foster; styled by and wearing Richfresh;
hair by Dominique Evans; makeup by Rebekah Aladdin

Lena Waithe says she moved to Los Angeles from Chicago in 2006 knowing she wanted to conquer it. And with 22 projects in active development with some of the biggest names in the business—including Amazon, BET, Disney, HBO, Netflix, Showtime and Universal—as well as a star-making turn on the Netflix series Master of None, which earned her an Emmy, she’s arguably done just that.

Season 3 of The Chi, a drama Waithe created for Showtime about the South Side of Chicago, is now in production. She did a food tour of L.A. with David Chang for his new Netflix limited series Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, premiering Oct. 23 (the show also features Chrissy Teigen and Kate McKinnon). And next month, she’s bringing her talents to the big screen with the film Queen & Slim, for which she penned the screenplay (it’s based on a story she wrote with author James Frey). The movie, about what happens to a couple on a first date after they get pulled over by the police, stars Jodie Turner-Smith and Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya in the title roles.

[ click to continue reading at AdWeek ]

Posted on October 13, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Soundtrack

from Variety

‘Queen & Slim’ Soundtrack Features Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Ms. Lauryn Hill, More


(from left) Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) in Queen & Slim, directed by Melina Matsoukas.

The soundtrack to the highly anticipated film “Queen & Slim” will be released by Motown on Nov. 15, it was announced today. The 17-song collection features new tracks from Ms. Lauryn HillMegan Thee StallionLil BabyVince Staples featuring 6lack X Mereba, Tiana Major 9 & EARTHGANG and Coast Contra featuring BJ The Chicago Kid and Syd. Classic songs by Roy Ayers, Bilal and Mike Jones can also be heard.

Starring Daniel Kaluuya, who was nominated for an Academy award for his role in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” and Jodie Turner-Smith (“The Neon Demon”), “Queen & Slim” is a modern re-telling of Bonnie & Clyde that confronts race relations and police brutality in America. Melina Matsoukas (“Master of None,” “Insecure”) makes her feature directorial debut with the film. Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win the Emmy award for outstanding writing for a comedy series, is credited as a writer alongside James Frey, of “A Million Little Pieces” fame. 

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Posted on October 11, 2019 by Editor

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Sam Taylor-Johnson Directs Michael Stipe’s First New Song Since REM


Michael Stipe – “Your Capricious Soul” Video

by Peter Helman

One brief song-snippet aside, Michael Stipe hasn’t released any music since his band R.E.M. broke up in 2011. That changes today. A few months ago, Stipe performed new solo songs called “Your Capricious Soul” and “Drive To The Ocean” during a surprise opening set for Patti Smith, and he reportedly has at least 16 other tracks ready to go. Today, to coincide with the “International Rebellion” climate justice protests this week, he’s sharing his official debut solo single.

That would be “Your Capricious Soul,” one of the songs he debuted back in May. Although it won’t be on any of the major streaming platforms, at least immediately, it is available for a pay-what-you-want donation (or for free) on Stipe’s website. The download comes with master-quality audio version of the song, its accompanying video by Sam Taylor-Johnson, a lyric sheet, a print-ready poster, a stencil, and an animated flip-book portrait. For the next 365 days, all proceeds from the song will go to Extinction Rebellion.

[ click to continue reading at STEREOGUM ]

Posted on October 10, 2019 by Editor

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Grimy Punk Basquiat

from artnet

Basquiat Designed an Album Cover for a Grimy Punk-Ska Band 35 Years Ago. Now, a Limited Edition of the Album Is Being Reissued

Basquiat's 1984 design for the cover of The Off's First Album.
Basquiat’s 1984 design for the cover of The Off’s First Record.

Originals of the record regularly sell for thousands of dollars, though oddly almost no one knows the band.

Basquiat’s 1984 design for the cover of The Off’s First Record.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a music fanatic and wannabe drummer who before he hit superstardom as a visual artist often needed cash—fast. Sometimes the two worlds collided. Once was in 1981 when the young Basquiat agreed to design an album sleeve for his friends in the punk-ska band, The Offs, in exchange for $400, which his mother needed to pay her rent.

Basquiat’s design for the album, called simply First Record, included some of the earliest examples of motifs that would come to define his work—a cartoon-like, black-and-white totemic figure standing atop a triangular mound with a crown of thorns hovering above his head. The punk band’s name appears written in Basquiat’s signature scrawl in three spots. Today, original copies of the album sell for thousands of dollars.

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Posted on October 9, 2019 by Editor

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The Corn Is The Key

from the New Yorker

America’s First Taco Editor Says That Burritos Are Actually Tacos

By Helen Rosner

Twenty-two years ago, Texas Monthly, the venerable “national magazine of Texas,” published a ranking of the state’s fifty best barbecue joints. The magazine had named the state’s best barbecue before, but the Top Fifty was an extraordinary feat of carnivorousness—a giant inventory of smoked meat, involving hundreds of meals and uncountable thousands of miles—and it became a phenomenon, on and off the newsstand. Regularly revised and updated in the years since, the list drives tourism both to and within the state, names and shapes trends, makes kings of newcomers, and topples long-established empires. So tremendous is Texans’ desire to read about barbecue, so essential is the food to the very notion of Texan-ness, that in 2013 Texas Monthly appointed the food writer and meat savant Daniel Vaughn to the freshly created role of barbecue editor.

This week, the magazine announced the creation of a new position to stand alongside its barbecue editor: beginning September 18th, José R. Ralat will become the magazine’s and the nation’s first taco editor. Ralat—who was born in Puerto Rico, grew up in New York City, and now lives in Dallas—has been something of a professional taco-eater for more than a decade, first writing taco reviews for the New York Press, and then, after decamping from Brooklyn to Texas, ten years ago, launching a weekly taco column with the Dallas Observer. He’s the author of the blog Taco Trail and, until the end of this week, the food and drink editor at the Dallas-based magazine Cowboys & Indians. His new role sounds like an office drone’s daydream: a full-time salary, plus benefits, just to wander around Texas and eat tacos? Sure thing, kid, dream on. But, as with its editorial commitment to barbecue, Texas Monthly considers this job to be not only serious business but essential Texas journalism: in a state where more than forty per cent of the population is Hispanic, including Mexican and Mexican-American residents, tacos are part of daily life, and key to Texan culinary identity.

I recently spoke with Ralat by phone about his new gig; in our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we also explored how to categorize burritos, why tacos are essentially Texan, and Ralat’s mission to correct the record on breakfast tacos.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on October 8, 2019 by Editor

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Wrinkles The Clown

from The Daily Beast

by Nick Schager

s your child misbehaving? Well, if you’re a demented mother and father interested in traumatizing your little one for years to come, you can follow in the footsteps of a shocking number of other American parents and dial 407-734-0254—the phone number for Wrinkles the Clown, a Naples, Florida, creep who, for a small cash fee, will lurk around your kid until they get the message and straighten themselves out.

This is both not a joke and a hilarious gag, as detailed by Wrinkles the Clown (in theaters Oct. 4). Michael Beach Nichols’ simultaneously spooky and amusing documentary concerns the notorious circus weirdo, who became an internet sensation in 2015—and inspired a rash of nationwide copycat dangerous-clown sightings in 2016—thanks to a series of online videos (beginning with this one) and stickers featuring his name, face and phone number that he posted around his hometown. In an age of viral horror fads (Slenderman, Momo, etc.), Wrinkles, bolstered by local news coverage and, then, a 2015 story in The Washington Post, was a standout star, not least because you could actually call him and either leave a voicemail or, if you were lucky, chat with the gruff, curt clown himself.

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Posted on October 7, 2019 by Editor

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FLW’s Man-cave

from The New York Post

The tragic story of Guggenheim architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s secret love nest

By Ron Hogan

The cozy estate on the Wisconsin River called Taliesin, where Wright hosted Mamah and her kids, became the scene of their bloody massacre.
The cozy estate on the Wisconsin River called Taliesin, where Wright hosted Mamah and her kids, became the scene of their bloody massacre.Wisconsin Historical Society

On Aug. 15, 1914, Frank Lloyd Wright was overseeing the final stages of construction at Midway Gardens, a massive entertainment complex on the South Side of Chicago. John, the second of his six children, was helping out on the project, when his father went out to take a phone call.

When Wright came back, he looked shocked and had to lean on a table to keep from collapsing.

“What’s happened?” John asked.

The call had been from Wisconsin, where Wright had built an estate called Taliesin for himself and Mamah Borthwick, his mistress for the last five years. Her two children from her previous marriage were with her at the time.

“Taliesin is on fire,” Wright said. “Why did I leave them today? What if they’re hurt?”

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Posted on October 6, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM Bonnie and Clyde meets Thelma and Louise




Are you ready for a modern-day Black Bonnie and Clyde? Lena Waithe, the Emmy-winning screenwriter, already has everyone on the edge of their seats for Queen & Slim as she explains to Complex.

The film is “Bonnie & Clyde meets Thelma & Louis meets Set It Off. Waithe worked closely with writer James Frey as they adapted an original idea for the story. Universal Pictures will release Queen & Slim a romantic thriller film directed by Melina Matsoukas on November 27.

[ click to continue reading at THE SOURCE ]

Posted on October 4, 2019 by Editor

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from InsideHook

How World War I Led to the Creation of the NFL

We talked to Chicago sportswriter Chris Serb about his book “War Football: World War I and the Birth of the NFL”

How World War I Led to the Creation of the NFL
The New York Giants put on a battle with the Rochester Jeffersons as an Armistice Day attraction. George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty)


Had U.S. soldiers not fought in the trenches on the battlefields of the First World War more than 100 years ago, offensive and defensive linemen may not be doing battle in the trenches of NFL game fields today. 

That’s one of the major takeaways from veteran Chicago sportswriter Chris Serb’s War Football: World War I and the Birth of the NFL, an impeccably researched work which details the time period during the Great War when football was being played at U.S. military bases at home and abroad by members of the Army, Navy and the Marines.

The majority of the players who took the field in those games, which were played against other bases as well as top colleges to raise money for the war effort, had played at the college level before WWI but had little chance at going pro after their service because a respectable professional league did not exist yet. 

There were some semi-pro leagues at the time, but they were looked down upon by the general public, at least partially because they took the Sabbath in vain by playing on Sundays (the only day all factory employees generally had off).

“Before the war, pro football had such a negative connotation that a lot of players played under assumed names because they did not want to be associated did not want their mom to see that they were playing for the Columbus Panhandles, or whatever the team might be, on a Sunday,” Serb tells InsideHook. “They were factory workers, regular guys who might have been good high school football players, but did not have the means to go on to college. They went out and got jobs and still enjoyed playing football and the only time they could play, because they had six-day work weeks, was on Sundays.”

Once the war began, some of these semi-pros enlisted and subsequently joined up with military football teams, mixing on rosters with experienced collegiate players who had also joined up. 

Though some of the pre-war semi-pro teams may have included a few guys who were relatively big names in college, the military teams which were assembled during WWI were football’s “first true All-Star teams,” according to Serb.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on October 3, 2019 by Editor

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from The New Yorker

By Doreen St. Félix

Songs of the summer should be crowned not in the giddiness of July but in the waning days of September, once the hot season has finished its business. A rearview perspective suggests that “Toast,” by the nineteen-year-old “singjay” Koffee, and produced by Walshy Fire, of Major Lazer, and IzyBeats, ruled this season. It was a mellow, cheery reign. At parties, I would watch eyebrows slacken and shoulders relax as the opening notes bounced into the room. “We haffi give thanks like we really supposed to,” Koffee advises nimbly; the song, about choosing optimism and practicing gratitude, is itself something to be thankful for.

“Toasting” also refers to a kind of vocal work—not quite singing, more like charismatic chanting over a beat, or “riddim”—that is deeply associated with mid-century Jamaican music. Koffee was born Mikayla Simpson and was raised in Spanish Town, outside of Kingston, Jamaica. She sang in the church choir, played guitar, and won a school talent show that she’d entered somewhat unwittingly. In 2017, an acoustic-guitar performance of a song called “Legend,” which she had written in honor of the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, went viral after Bolt reposted the video on Instagram. Alongside artists like Protoje and Chronixx, Koffee has emerged as a modernizer of the roots-reggae philosophy practiced by artists such as Beres Hammond, Peter Tosh, and Bob Marley. On her EP “Rapture,” her sound seamlessly blends reggae and dancehall, socially conscious messaging and free-spirit liveliness. On the track “Raggamuffin,” with liquid agility, she offers a critique of the Jamaican government. On “Throne,” she praises her own song-writing prowess: “Lyrics put your very welfare / Pon the death row, pon the wet floor.”

“Toast” was an explosive début single. Earlier this year, Koffee won a prize for single of the year at the Jamaica Music Industry Association’s annual awards ceremony and performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; it’s been rumored that she was courted by Rihanna to write on her upcoming reggae album. To understand both the history and the future of Jamaican music, listen to Koffee.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on October 1, 2019 by Editor

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476 by James Frey

from Instagram

[ click to view on Instagram ]

Posted on September 30, 2019 by Editor

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Best Fall Films – QUEEN & SLIM

from Teen Vogue

The Best Movies of Fall 2019

From international spies to little women.


The Best Movies of Fall 2019

Teen Vogue is excited to debut its Fall Preview of shows and films that we’re obsessed with. We’re highlighting a diverse range of programming that touches on love, family, friendships, trauma, curiosity, and innovative perspectives about the world around us.

With fall comes cozy sweaters, brown leaves, and a number of fresh films for your viewing pleasure. Instead of spending another evening at home on the couch binging Netflix, consider heading to the nearest movie theater for the slew of premieres this season.

Queen & Slim

Premieres: November 27

Melina Matsoukas’ directorial debut does not spare emotions as she tells the tragic story of two people who forge a bond after getting into a deadly encounter with a police officer. No traditional love story in any form, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) go from two strangers on a first date to fugitives, bound together by their situation.

Written by Lena Waithe (The Chi), we follow the pair across state lines in an uncomfortable, yet cinematically-stunning portrayal of being on the run. From Ohio down to Louisiana and eventually Florida, the melanin-enriched pseudo-Bonnie and Clyde narrowly escape obstacle after obstacle in the hopes of freedom.

“I wanted to give voice to all the nameless faceless men and women of color whose lives were taken unjustly and who didn’t make it home,” Lena told press at ESSENCE Fest in July. “I actually refer to them as fallen soldiers but unfortunately, they were fighting a war they didn’t know they were in. There is so much Black deaths surrounding us … I wanted to turn the tables where we could keep breathing and the opposer didn’t.”

The raw truth is that oppression of Black people in this country is so insidious and innate that every second of the film feels tension-filled. In addition to running from the law, the film is a beautiful love letter to African Americans’ solidarity, particularly in times of great need.

Conscious and convicting, Queen & Slim is by no means an easy watch — but it is a must-watch. — Danielle Kwateng-Clark

[ click to continue reading at Teen Vogue ]

Posted on September 29, 2019 by Editor

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Charlie Hunnam Leads ‘Shantaram’ for Apple


Charlie Hunnam To Headline ‘Shantaram’, Apple Series Based On Novel

By Nellie Andreeva

photo: Brian Bowen Smith

EXCLUSIVE: Former Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam is returning to television as the lead of Apple’s sweeping international drama Shantaram, which has been greenlighted to series by the streamer, I have learned.

Apple landed the project, based on Gregory David Roberts’ best-selling novel, more than a year ago in a competitive situation to develop for straight-to-series consideration.

Shantaram hails from Anonymous Content and Paramount Television, which in early 2018 won a monthlong bidding war for the rights to Roberts’ 2004 novel set in Australia and India that explores love, forgiveness, courage and redemption, as well as for Robert’s sequel novel, The Mountain Shadow.

Written by Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle), Shantaram tells the story of Lin (Hunnam), a man on the run from an Australian prison looking to get lost in the teeming city of Bombay. Cut off from family and friends by distance and fate, he finds a new life in the slums, bars and underworld of India.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 28, 2019 by Editor

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New Greta Van Fleet for A MILLION LITTLE PIECES Soundtrack

from Alternative Nation

Greta Van Fleet New Song “Always There” Revealed

By Brett Buchanan

Greta Van Fleet have reportedly recorded a new song titled “Always There” for the soundtrack of the film ‘A Million Littles Pieces.’ The film is set for release on December 6th, and is based on the 2005 book by James Frey. Greta Van Fleet singer Josh Kiszka squatted in a bathing suit photo yesterday, before later deleting it.

The book is described as, “At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.” The film is starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Odessa Young, Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis, and Charlie Hunnam. Sam Taylor-Johnson is the director of the film.

[ click to continue reading at Alternative Nation ]

Posted on September 27, 2019 by Editor

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QUEEN & SLIM – Trailer 2

Posted on September 26, 2019 by Editor

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Dog Brains

from National Geographic

Centuries of breeding have reshaped dog brains—here’s how

The role for which a dog was bred—say retrieving birds—is reflected in their brain structure, according to a study of 33 breeds.


There are hundreds of dog breeds around the world, from the teensy chihuahua to the massive Saint Bernard—all thanks to centuries of selective breeding by humans. With such a wide range of canine sizes and temperaments, it’s no surprise that, in the process, we have reshaped their brains as well as their bodies.

A new study performed MRI scans on 33 breeds and discovered how a dog was bred is reflected in their brain structure. (Read “How to build a dog” in National Geographic magazine.)

For instance, dogs bred to be small—say the lhasa apso—have round heads with similarly round brains that take up most of their skull. A larger breed like a golden retriever has a long, narrow head, and thus a more elongated brain that doesn’t fill all of the skull space.

“The biggest wow moment for me was just looking at the scans,” says study leader Erin E. Hecht, an evolutionary neuroscientist at Harvard University. “It’s really cool in science where you have a result where you don’t have to do any fancy statistics to be able to tell there’s something going on.” (Read more how humans have reordered dog brains.)

This fresh look inside the mind of dogs offers a better understanding of how breeds are hardwired, which in turn helps potential dog owners choose the right breed for their home, adds Hecht, whose study was published today in the journal Neurosci. (See our fun photo gallery of pet dogs.)

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on September 25, 2019 by Editor

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Captain Spaulding Gone

from Entertainment Weekly

Horror icon Sid Haig, actor from House of 1,000 Corpses, dies at 80

Haig also appeared in ‘Jackie Brown’ and blaxploitation films like ‘Coffy’ and ‘Foxy Brown’

By Nick Romano

Sid Haig, a legend of the horror genre from films like House of 1,000 Corpsesand The Devil’s Rejects, died Saturday following an unspecified “accident” two weeks earlier. He was 80.

In a statement shared on the actor’s Instagram account, wife Susan L. Oberg wrote, “My light, my heart, my true love, my King, the other half of my soul, Sidney, passed from this realm on to the next. He has returned to the Universe, a shining star in her heavens. He was my angel, my husband, my best friend and always will be.”

Haig got his start in horror with 1967’s Spider Baby or, the Maddest Story Ever Told. He was then cast in Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses as Captain Spaulding and its sequel The Devil’s Rejects. Haig was meant to have a larger role in this fall’s third installment, 3 From Hell, but Zombie told EW that health issues prevented him from doing so.

[ click to continue reading at EW ]

Posted on September 23, 2019 by Editor

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Charlie Hunnam – ‘Jungleland’


Charlie Hunnam & Jack O’Connell Evoke ’70s-Era Movies In Max Winkler’s 10-Year Passion Project ‘Jungleland’ – Toronto

By Pete Hammond

EXCLUSIVE: “When a reluctant bare-knuckle boxer and his older brother rack up a hefty debt, they are forced to chaperone an unexpected travel companion cross-country for one last fight in search of their fortune.”

That is the simple one-liner description for Jungleland, which has its world premiere Thursday night at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s pretty accurate because that is the plot, but what really works about this compelling character study from director Max Winkler, who co-wrote the script with Theodore B. Bressman and David Branson Smith, is the journey of these three people in a movie that for me harkens back to some of the great actor-driven movies of the 1970s. It has smart dialogue, a terrific trio of stars and a familial sensibility that also makes you care deeply what happens to these three on their journey. Oh and their dog too. I see lots of movies, obviously, and I have seen a ton at this year’s TIFF, but this one — even viewed in rough-cut form in a screener, which is how I saw it — has stuck with me. Watch an exclusive clip above.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 22, 2019 by Editor

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Leo’s Lion

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Leonardo da Vinci’s mechanical lion goes on display in Paris

The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I
The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I (AFP Photo/Thomas SAMSON)

Paris (AFP) – Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mechanical lion on Wednesday went on display in Paris for a month, in a tribute to the Renaissance master 500 years after his death.

The lion, which is two metres (six feet, seven inches) high and three metres long and made of wood with a metal mechanism, is a reconstruction based on a rudimentary sketch left by da Vinci.

The original automaton, long since lost, was designed by da Vinci on a commission from Pope Leo X to amuse French king Francois I.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on September 21, 2019 by Editor

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