During a Sunday panel at the Tribeca Film Festival, it was announced that Meryl Streep has funded a screenwriting lab for women over 40, which will be run by New York Women in Film and Television. As reported by Variety, the lab will accept submissions this year from May 1st to June 1st, with eight winning entries announced August 1st.
Taking a break from his Ariana Grande collaborations, The Weeknd brought out an unexpected guest during his closing set Saturday night set at Coachella. According to Pitchfork, Kanye West joined The Weeknd to perform “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” off Graduation, “Black Skinhead” off Yeezus, and “All Day,” tentatively appearing on his upcoming album. Watch Kanye perform “All Day” below, via MissInfo.tv.
The diesel-powered behemoth Furious 7 just keeps on going, like an energizer bunny on steroids. James Wan’s film crossed the billion-dollar mark (worldwide) on Friday on its way to another $25.5 million this weekend. The seventh film in the motors-and-muscles franchise hasn’t had any serious competition at the box office, and probably won’t until Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron comes out next month.
The Fault in Our Stars fans might recognize Lotte Verbeek as Willem Dafoe's Amsterdam assistant, but for Outlander's audience, she's the mysterious Geillis, who, in Saturday night’s episode, declared that she was indeed a witch. But the real twist was that her "proof" was a mark of the devil — her scar from a smallpox vaccination, which wasn't widely available in 1743. That, plus her saying "1968!", reveal that, like our heroine, Geillis is a modern woman in a not-so-modern place. Unlike Claire, however, Geillis meant to be there. And if she could choose when and where to travel in time, perhaps Claire could as well? Verbeek chatted with Vulture about her character's reveal, feminism, witchcraft, and dancing naked.
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,” said British novelist L.P. Hartley. For instance, they try people as witches. (Usually women, but not always!) Rural Scotland in the mid 1700s was still, for all intents and purposes, the Dark Ages. And the Dark Ages looked very dark indeed from the bottom of a thieves’ hole.
Welcome back, Clone Club! It’s seriously felt like an eon since we said good-bye to Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, Tatiana Maslany, and Tatiana Maslany, doesn’t it? I won’t waste any more time explaining where we left off last season, mostly because E. Alex Jung has already done that for us, bless him. Read up there, and let’s get started.
A day after Andy Chen, the CEO of Tidal’s parent group Aspiro, stepped down amid controversy, rapper/entrepreneur/Beyoncé’s husband, Jay Z, received some good news: He now officially owns the masters to The Life and Times of S. Carter and The Dynasty. According to TMZ, Jay Z won a court case dating back to 2014, when sound engineer Chauncey Mahan claimed ownership of the album and hid the master recordings in a storage unit. The cops seized the tapes, but Mahan took his case to court. The judge shut him down, and Jay Z now owns the albums, which include tracks “Big Pimpin’” and “I Just Wanna Love U.”
Rumors about a possible film or television adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s cult-classic ’90s comic series Preacher have eddied for a while. The gloriously gory, perversely hilarious comic about a small-town preacher named Jesse who merges with a demon-angel entity and gains the ability to control people with his mind has so much black-comedy potential, but the show remained in purgatory for years. Plans began to gestate this past December, when Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, weed smokers par excellence, announced that they were working on a TV pilot for AMC, working off of a script by Breaking Bad scribe Sam Catlin.
You know you're psyched to see Roland Emmerich blow up more stuff in Independence Day 2: Independence Harder (just kidding — it's called Independence Day Forever, and it'll have two parts). Now you can get even more psyched for the return of President Whitmore, the greatest American president ever (he flies a fighter jet in a siege against interplanetary genocidal aliens). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Pullman has been reelected (so to speak) and will reprise the role of Whitmore for the sequel.
Earlier this week, the 14th annual Tribeca Film Festival welcomed none other than noted performance artist and rat-tail enthusiast Shia LaBeouf, executive producer for Alma Har'el's new documentary Love True. LaBeouf previously worked with Ha'rel on Sigur Rós's video for the song "Fjögur Pianó," for which he was completely nude. More recently, he appeared as a mostly naked cage-fighting character in Sia's video for "Elastic Heart" — a performance that garnered a hefty amount of controversy. At a Q&A for Love True, LaBeouf talked about the differences between his work with Sia and Ha'rel:
Three singles from Blur’s comeback LP The Magic Whip have already dropped, and they're all pretty great. Collectively, “Lonesome Street,” “There Are Too Many of Us,” and “Go Out” channel the infectious yet wounded post-Brit-pop punch of Blur’s later, American-influenced albums. But the moody new single “My Terracotta Heart” has a decidedly darker sound. Continuing the slinky-sad sound Damon Albarn first experimented with on Gorillaz’s 2005 modern classic Demon Days (it even has the electronic blips and droning percussion), “My Terracotta Heart” sounds like the album art looks: a nocturnal, neon-steeped ice cream cone, as cool as it is chilly. The Magic Whip comes out April 27.
For nearly a century, the superhero-comics industry has been dominated by two New York–based giants: DC Comics and Marvel Comics. But as of this month, there's only one left in the Big Apple. DC pulled up stakes and has moved its offices to California, but Marvel is sticking it out here in NYC. Not coincidentally, they've decided to produce a series of gorgeous New York–themed covers for comics coming out in May — and we're proud to exclusively debut five of them! Each depicts an iconic Marvel superhero in an iconic New York location, and will be released as so-called "variant" covers (i.e., covers only released on a small number of issues printed).
Thirty-six-year-old Cristela Alonzo was the first Latina to create, produce, write, and star in her own prime-time comedy, ABC's Cristela. The semiautobiographical, multi-camera sitcom received middling reviews initially, but critics warmed up to it over time. Meanwhile, with her boisterous laugh (which she’ll put to good use in the upcoming Angry Birds movie) and wry take on Latino life, Alonzo brought in around 5 million viewers each week.
Wolf Hall has so many characters, it's nearly impossible to follow all the action without a few trips to Wikipedia, and once there, it's impossible not to be spoiled. Wolf Hall ends with the biggest execution of 1536, but even the characters who made it out of that year with their heads firmly attached to their necks ended up imprisoned in the Tower of London one way or another. No, the Tudor era was not a safe one for its courtiers — you either died a traitor under King Henry VIII, or you lived long enough to see yourself burned as a heretic under Queen Mary.
Who ended up with a one-way ticket to Tower Hill, and who managed to beat the odds and die peacefully in old age? Let's find out!
After sneaking online in a low-quality cell-phone-video form, the trailer for Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has now been officially released. In typical Snyder fashion, the trailer is dark and dour, with so much CGI, so much brooding, so much anger. It seems that the citizens of Metropolis didn’t appreciate how Superman pretty much destroyed their entire city in his demigod fisticuffs with Michael Shannon, likely killing millions of people in the process.
Stephen Colbert, World’s Biggest Star Wars Fan, Interviewed George Lucas and Somehow Didn’t Freak OutBy Nate Jones
As the world's largest Star Wars fan, Stephen Colbert was undoubtedly thrilled to once again get the chance to hang out with his childhood idol George Lucas on Friday. A bunch of other people were thrilled, too, because Colbert wasn't interviewing Lucas in his childhood basement — the two were sharing the stage at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival's Tribeca Talks: Directors series. In an emotional hour-long conversation, the two spoke about the history of Star Wars, the prospects of a Howard the Duck remake, and why Lucas hasn't seen the new Force Awakens trailer yet.
It’s rarely mentioned today, but Walt Disney, alongside innovating the animated feature film, was also among the pioneers of the feature-length nature documentary. 1953’s Oscar-winning The Living Desert is still one of the pinnacles of the genre — with its beautiful photography and sly editing, not to mention its gently anthropomorphized, playful depiction of animal life in the Arizona Desert. But perhaps its most remarkable quality is its easy translation of geography and science: The Living Desert opens with an elegantly animated sequence explaining how the Sierra Nevada Mountains keep moisture from reaching the desert, and there’s a comforting simplicity to it, as if Uncle Walt and his filmmakers had succeeded in turning science into fairy tale. That’s not meant as a slight: Generations of kids back then probably first learned about the wonders of nature from these films unspooling through 16mm projectors in classrooms around the country.
Toa Fraser's Maori thriller The Dead Lands is a solid entry in the loose subgenre we might call the "ethnographic action film" — earlier examples of which include Mel Gibson's Apocalypto or Zacarias Kunuk's Atanarjuat; The Fast Runner or Kevin Reynolds's Rapa Nui. In these movies, which vary dramatically in tone and quality, basic action tropes are recycled, and in some cases revitalized, as we're immersed in remote, sometimes extinct, native cultures. Primal tales of vengeance or pursuit or loyalty gain mythic power through the sheer novelty of context. That's the idea, anyway. Sometimes, the setting is just a crutch.
On Friday, Furious 7 became the fastest film to hit $1 billion at the worldwide box office, doing so in just 17 days. It's also Universal's first film to ever reach that benchmark. NBCUniversal vice chairman Ron Meyer made the announcement in an effusive blog post on their site, calling it a "significant milestone in our history." As for a Furious 8, Vin Diesel has been hinting hard that it's going to happen, because, well, it's "F8."