Kristen Stewart Talks Directing Debut

Kristen Stewart’s short “Come Swim” marks the actress’s directorial debut, turning a vision she had in her head for some time into a film now available for streaming globally.
Stewart was on hand Thursday evening briefly speaking about the film’s creation and the thinking behind it following a private screening at the Westside Pavilion. “Come Swim” tracks a day in the life of a man grappling with a broken heart, delving inside his personal thoughts and emotions that become so crippling before he eventually comes to and realizes he will be fine.
“It was like when you are so in your own head,” Stewart explained to those in attendance at the screening. “You have things, feelings that, in a really cliché way, are feelings you just think nobody could possibly relate to. Yet, they’re the most standard. There’s not, like, a thought or a feeling you’re going to have that nobody’s had before you, but somehow when you’re in that, you’re so alone. I wanted to be able to really step inside someone’s head and externalize that and then be able to take a step back afterwards and be like from the outside we see you so clearly.”
Water plays a symbolic role

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Alberta Ferretti to Debut Capsule for La Rinascente Shops-in-Shop

MILAN IN LOVE: On Sept. 20, Alberta Ferretti will open a new shops-in-shop at La Rinascente‘s department store in Milan, located on the third floor. To celebrate the unit, Ferretti created an exclusive collection of crewnecks.
The range of four different cashmere and wool blend sweaters features a heart-shaped intarsia on the front with a handwritten slogan that says “Innamorati a Milano,” or “Fall in Love in Milan.”
Similarly to the eye-catching color combinations of Ferretti’s “Rainbow Week” sweaters, the new lineup of knitwear will be available in mélange gray with pink lettering, red with ivory lettering, black with red and pink with mint green.
Retailing at 440 euros, the collection will be sold in limited quantities, exclusively at La Rinascente, starting Sept. 20.
Most recently, the Alberta Ferretti “Rainbow Week” sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 and limited-edition collection, have been sported by the likes of Isabeli Fontana and Izabel Goulard in Venice, on the red carpet of the city’s international Film Festival.

Izabel Goulart in Alberta Ferretti at the Venice Film Festival 2017. 
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Chiara Ferragni is among Ferretti’s sweater fans, too. During the celebrations for her 30th birthday, last May in Venice, she donned a customized

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Fantasy Fallout: Will any other rookies come close to Kareem Hunt’s debut?

Fantasy Fallout: Will any other rookies come close to Kareem Hunt’s debut?
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Profile: A Debut Novelist’s Descent Into Darkness

Gabriel Tallent’s “My Absolute Darling” is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated debut novels of the year.
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Eva Longoria Readies for New York Fashion Week Debut With Kia STYLE360

IT’S A FIRST: Eva Longoria, Rosario Dawson and Alysia Reiner are part of the batch of well-known newcomers that will be showing during next month’s New York Fashion Week.
They will be part of Kia STYLE360’s roster at Metropolitan West, which is located at 639 West 46th Street where live-streaming the shows, 360-degree virtual reality broadcasts and Facebook Live will all be part of the deal. Staring things off on Sept. 11, will be Studio 189 by Dawson and Abrima Erwiah. The proactive duo are trying to use artisanal sustainable fashion as an agent for social change. That night Andy Hilfiger, who certainly has attended his share of runway shows over the years, will be hosting one of his own as creative director of Artistix by Greg Polisseni.
With three directing projects “Black-ish,” Dylan McDermott’s new show “L.A. to Vegas” and Kaitlin Olson’s Fox show “The Mick,” Longoria will have no trouble calling the shots at the first show for her affordable Eva Longoria Collection on Sept.r 13. Another familiar face from the small screen is Vanessa Simmons of MTV’s “Run’s House,” who has been tweeting about her upcoming fashion week debut. Bad Butterfly presented by Candice Cuoco x Vanessa Simmons is on deck for

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The Bachelorette’s Rachel Lindsay Makes Her Live Debut with New Fiance

The Bachelorette, Rachel LindsayRachel Lindsay and Bryan Abasolo aren’t rushing anything.
Sure, they got engaged after just a few weeks of knowing each other in front of the cameras of The Bachelorette, but now…

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Books of The Times: Portrait of a Nigerian Marriage in a Heartbreaking Debut Novel

Ayobami Adebayo’s “Stay With Me,” like great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, explores the pull between tradition and modernity in Nigeria.
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Beyoncé Discreetly Steps Out With Jay-Z Before Twins’ Debut

Beyonce, Jay-ZMama spotted!
Beyoncé may have made an overnight splash when she finally debuted the first photo of her 1-month-old twins, Sir and Rumi Carter, but before it was time for the world…

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Shoots To The Top Of The Box Office With $117 Million Debut

It’s the second largest debut in Sony Pictures history, behind “Spider-Man 3.”
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Emily Ratajkowski’s “Blurred Lines” Debut Was Because of This Man

ESC: Trendsetters at Work, TreatsHe photographs some of the most beautiful (and most famous) women and men in the world.
Steve Shaw is the founder and creative director of Treats LLC–home to a number of publications…

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An Addict, a Confessed Killer and Now a Debut Author

The strange case of Curtis Dawkins: How a convicted murderer ended up with a major book deal at one of the country’s top publishing houses.
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Céline Dion Lifestyle Collection to Debut at Nordstrom

Nordstrom has snagged a ticket to Céline Dion. The singing diva, who unveiled her lifestyle brand at Project in February, has linked with the Seattle-based retailer to debut the fall 2017 collection at all its stores and online in August.
The affordable handbags, luggage and small accessories collection has about 100 pieces, including the signature handbag that is part of the brand’s ad campaign. Retail prices range from $ 58 to $ 298 in the U.S. and $ 78 to $ 398 in Canada. The luggage will be sold online separately for $ 158 to $ 478.
“I’m excited at this opportunity to launch my collection with Nordstrom,” Dion said. “They’re a wonderful company with great stores, and I’m proud to be associated with them along with my partners at The Bugatti Group, Epic Rights and Prominent Brand + Talent. My collection is all about affordable luxury, and we’ve created beautiful designs with excellent quality and I can’t wait for everyone to discover all of this at Nordstrom.”
“We are always interested in bringing new and exciting product to our customers,” said Gemma Lionello, Nordstrom executive vice president and general merchandise manager for accessories, at home and beauty. Quebec-based Bugatti Group manufactures and distributes its products under multiple

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Condé Nast Closes Style.com Months After Its Debut

The magazine giant is folding its experiment with e-commerce, and joining forces with Farfetch.
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‘Black Panther’ Poster Unveiled Ahead of Teaser Trailer Debut

Black Panther is unmasked in the first poster for the film, which was released by Marvel Studios on Friday ahead of the teaser trailer’s debut tonight. The “Black Panther” poster features the titular hero, played by Chadwick Boseman, perched on his throne in Wakanda. The first trailer for the film will air during Friday’s Game… Read more »

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Roc96 Launched a Clothing Line Inspired by Jay-Z’s Debut Album

The Roc96 and MadeWorn collaboration launched at Barney’s this week.

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VRC’s ‘Raising A Rukus’ to Debut At Imax VR Centre in Los Angeles This Week

The first episode of the Virtual Reality Company’s (VRC) new animated series “Raising a Rukus” is set to debut at the Imax VR Experience Centre in Los Angeles this coming Friday, and come to future Imax VR locations in the coming months. It’s the first time an original VR production  has premiered at an Imax… Read more »

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Australian Muslim Politician Anne Aly Made Her Sydney Fashion Week Debut

Australia’s first female Muslim federal member of parliament took the runway at Sydney Fashion Week to celebrate diversity with other inspiring women.
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Even though two new Juvia’s Place eye shadow palettes recently came out, they’re already sold out. Here’s how to get them.
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Maddie Peterson, P Money, CJ Hendry Help Lululemon Debut Global Campaign

IT’S A STRETCH: For its first global ad campaign, Lululemon is highlighting seven very different individuals from different ports of call.
Whether a case of lucky timing or a strategic move, the international reach is fitting for a company that is now being scrutinized by private equity firms. Regardless if the company is sold, Lululemon executives have been on the march to seek out new ports of call since its leggings and other ath-leisure looks are well-entrenched in the American market.
Perhaps with that in mind, the new “This Is Yoga” campaign was shot in such locales as Vancouver, Beijing, Mexico City and London as well as Los Angeles and New York. Out-of-home campaign elements will appear in L.A., New York, Toronto, Vancouver, London and Shanghai markets. Vice’s global agency Virtue Worldwide cooked up the campaign, which will focus on the idea of living a purposeful life rooted in the values of yoga, according to Duke Stump, Lululemon’s executive vice president of Brand + Community.
Olympic volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings, pro surfer Maddie Peterson, Capoeira instructor Jian Pablico, artist CJ Hendry, the Mexico City-based dance troupe House of Apocalipstick, London-based rapper P Money and the Beijing-based punk band drummer Atom Willard will be

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ESPN to Debut Fantasy Football Weekday Show With Matthew Berry (EXCLUSIVE)

ESPN is upping the ante on fantasy sports — which has been a massive traffic driver online — with a new half-hour fantasy football show hosted by Mathew Berry, set to launch on TV and online ahead of the next NFL season. “The Fantasy Show,” to run Monday through Friday, will feature Berry, a noted… Read more »

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Harry Styles announces debut solo world tour

Former One Direction star Harry Styles has announced his first solo world tour to promote his self-titled album.
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Sotheby’s Geneva to Debut Regular Fine Jewelry Sales

GEMS IN GENEVA: Sotheby’s Geneva will begin holding regular jewelry auctions from June this year. The auction house will debut the new “Fine Jewels” sales on June 1 with a selection of 82 creations by Geneva-based Italian designer Michele Della Valle, known for his colorful works featuring flora and fauna.
The sales, to be held at Sotheby’s new Geneva premises, will complement the house’s bi-annual “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” high jewelry auctions, offering collectors the chance to acquire fine jewelry pieces at a broader range of price points, Sotheby’s said.
Key pieces from the first sale have guide prices ranging from $ 3,000 to $ 50,000.

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John Legend Makes His Virtual Reality Debut in Baobab Studios’ New Animated Series ‘Rainbow Crow’

John Legend has caught the VR bug, in a big way: The pop star slash actor is not only lending his voice to one of the main characters in “Rainbow Crow,” a new animated VR series that is set to debut at Tribeca later this month, “Rainbow Crow” maker Baobab Studios also got Legend to sign… Read more »

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Books of The Times: A Haunting Debut Looks Ahead to a Second American Civil War

The details of “American War,” Omar El Akkad’s dystopian novel about an unraveling United States, makes his fictional future feel alarmingly real.
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Juan Gabriel’s Son Makes His Debut With New Single ‘Sprite’

Luis Alberto Aguilera may very well have music running through his veins as the son of the late legendary Mexican singer Juan Gabriel, but he’s marching to the beat of his own drum in his musical career. 

A music video featuring JuanGa’s son recently surfaced on social media, and Aguilar’s his first single titled “Sprite” is an English-language track that is far from the bolero hits and ballads his father wrote and sang before his death in August 2016. Instead, the young singer’s new song leans more towards hip-hop with a music video that gives off major Drake vibes. 

A post shared by Luis Alberto Aguilera (@luisxaguilera) on

Aguilera is the son of the iconic “Divo de Juarez” and Guadalupe González, who worked as a maid for the superstar. The mother gave an exclusive interview with Primer Impacto about her relationship with Juan Gabriel last November, shortly after DNA results confirmed that the singer was Aguilar’s father.

“I already knew,” Aguilar told Primer Impacto in a TV interview in September after the DNA results were revealed. “But for me it was important to make it clear so that there is no doubt. I like to speak with the truth.” 

For months, Aguilera has expressed interest in pursuing music much like his father, and “Sprite” is his first venture into the industry. Watch the single’s music video above. 

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Off-White To Make Pitti Uomo Debut

Off-White, the streetwear label founded by Virgil Abloh, will be a special guest at international men’s wear trade show Pitti Uomo, running in Florence June 13-16.
On June 15, the label will present its latest spring 2018 men’s collection, as well as a selection of pieces from the resort 2018 women’s lineup.
The event will take place the day after the debut at Pitti Uomo of Irish designer J. W. Anderson, who will show his namesake line’s spring 2018 men’s wear collection on June 14 in a still-undisclosed location.
“I’m really honored to present my work for the first time at Pitti Uomo, one of the most relevant platforms which marked the history of fashion over the years,” said Abloh. “My goal is to add a unique chapter to the evolution of this brand.”
“In a moment where the traditional boundaries between fashion and streetwear blur, Virgil Abloh turned his lifestyle into a successful brand,” said Pitti Immagine communication and event director Lapo Cianchi. “He managed to bring Off-White to a stylistic maturation without losing that ability to shock, sometimes in a very direct and frisky way, which enabled him to build a name for himself.”
 

Off-White Men’s Fall 2017 
Dominique Maitre/WWD

 
Launched online in late 2013, Off-White

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Snapchat owner’s stock leaps 44% on debut

The value of Snapchat’s owner has soared on its New York Stock Exchange debut after a flotation that valued the company at an initial $ 24bn (£19bn).
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Snap, on Cusp of IPO, Looks Set for Strong Debut

Snap, parent of the popular disappearing-message app Snapchat, is on track to price its IPO above its target of $ 14-16 and could awaken the dormant tech market.
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Colton Haynes to Make Live Singing Debut During George Michael Tribute Concert

Colton Haynes, George MichaelColton Haynes is warming up his vocal chords.
I can exclusively reveal that the Scream Queens actor is getting ready to make his live singing debut at Gotta Have Faith, VH1 Save The…

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Colton Haynes to Make Live Singing Debut During George Michael Tribute Concert

Colton Haynes, George MichaelColton Haynes is warming up his vocal chords.
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Breaking Bad star to make London theatre debut

Bryan Cranston, best known for his role as Walter White in hit TV show Breaking Bad, is to make his London stage debut at the National Theatre.
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Brazil’s Fabiana Milazzo Plans U.S. Debut With Melrose Place Store

Brazilian designer Fabiana Milazzo is introducing her blend of handcrafted femininity and responsible entrepreneurship to the U.S. market via her new store in Los Angeles.
Known for her designs that are enhanced by artisanal embroidery, macramé, crochet and beading, she flips the script for what is considered formal and casual. A black gown has a relaxed feel with netlike sleeves and corded rope framing a high slit, whereas a sweatshirt stitched from two different shades of blue sparkles with intricately sewn beads on the front.
“I like to mix elements,” she said through an interpreter, her husband Eduardo Carvalho. “I make the party dresses less formal and enrich the casualwear.”
Readying to unveil her first Stateside sales point on Feb. 22 in a 1,300-square-foot space on Melrose Place as the recession in her country deepens, Milazzo hopes the U.S. grows to become the biggest market for her $ 5 million company. She is a seasoned designer in Brazil, having opened two stores and presented her collections at São Paulo Fashion Week since starting her namesake business in 2000. From the southeastern city of Uberlândia, Brazil, which serves as her base for design and manufacturing, she also sells to 90 retailers within the country as

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August Wilson’s Jitney in its Broadway Debut: A Review

Now, a dozen years after his death, August Wilson is on a roll. Maybe the wide release of the movie of his stage play Fences will bring him a posthumous Oscar for Best Screenplay, but more, because Denzel Washington has vowed he would see all 10 plays of this bard of Pittsburgh’s Hill District produced. A new Manhattan Theater Club production of Jitney, a 1982 drama at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, a Broadway debut for this early play, is a must-see.

Taking place in a gypsy cab depot, Jitney is a vision of a black community with lively characters, well defined by the poetry they speak, their world a microcosm of age-old themes. When Denzel Washington spoke about how he opened up Fences for the movie, he wanted to make Troy’s marriage to Rose, and his betrayal, the emotional core, but unmistakably center stage is the father-son story, and so too is this theme the focus in Jitney. Ancestry is a key value, and under Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s superb direction, the straight line between Becker (the formidable John Douglas Thompson) and Booster (Brandon J. Dirden), the son he has not seen for 20 years is the tough love around which the drivers swirl in syncopated speech.

Andre Holland, getting much attention for his role in the movie Moonlight, is hot and fiery as the Vietnam vet, Youngblood. At odds with Turnbo (Michael Potts), a meddling gossip who is also menacing with a gun, Youngblood wants to do right by his woman (Carra Patterson, the only female in this testosterone laden cast). The wall phone is a character in itself, and who ever answers gets to say, “Car Service.” By play’s end, with the wrecking ball of gentrification looming large over this fine-tuned ensemble, you are no more ready to leave the station than Jitney’s drivers are. RRRRring! It must go on.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.

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Midseason TV Preview: A Ton of New Shows Debut Soon

Iron Fist, Legion, The Americans, The 100, Black Sails, 24: Legacy, Riverdale and so much more is on the way.
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An impressive debut for an up-and-coming artist

In the fiercely competitive art scene, the challenge for an artist to display their work and distinguish it from others gets increasingly difficult. So when that aim is eventually achieved, it is followed with a desire to produce and stand out even more. For one of the many artists, this journey began a few weeks ago.
Earlier this month, the C. John Gallery, located in London’s renowned Mayfair, presented the first solo art exhibition of Antinea Boletsi, a talented artist and graduate of Hartford Art School at The University of Hartford, CT, USA , having obtained a Fine Arts Degree there in 2006.
As Katerina Kritikou, an Athens-based art historian, put it, ‘Antinea’s work focuses primarily on landscapes, still lifes and portraits. Her love of nature is clearly evident in her landscapes. Her work in general demonstrates the expressiveness and simplicity of her art. Antinea’s art hides an oxymoron. Her artistic insight is contemporary. However, the style of her brushstrokes is classical and impressionistic. Her eye for detail is and remains exemplary.’

2016-12-28-1482929564-6823482-IMG_1216.jpg

Katerina continues, ‘Antinea’s world is simple, ordinary. Her artistic view is contemporary and incisive, in constant search of the essential with a sense of nostalgia for the past. Her paintings follow the rules of figurative art. They showcase beauty, with the naivety and the intact talent of a child, but also with the sharp eye of a passionate observer.’
The opening of the exhibition itself was an extremely successful event with a great turnout of over 200 people of differing backgrounds.

2016-12-28-1482929665-3634159-Job_0953.jpg

For Antinea, having her work displayed at the established C. John Gallery was all the more rewarding. For over eighty-years, it has represented the most refined qualities of art in the living environment. Nowadays, it is world’s leader in antique rugs and remains the only fine carpet gallery in the world to hold the Royal Warrant as supplier of carpets to Queen Elizabeth II. Additionally, C. John is also a member of the British Antique Dealers Association.

2016-12-28-1482929612-8567432-Job_09431.jpg

With an esteemed international client base and having recently collaborated with the boutique art advisory business Martix, C. John is successfully adapting to the ever-changing market by combining contemporary and antique art in a sophisticated environment.
For Antinea, her exhibition marks her first, official and long overdue step into the art world. There is no doubt in my mind that she has plenty to offer. Her many artistic qualities are reflected in her work and she is always striving to improve. I am fortunate to have had my own portrait done by her, so I am well placed to say that her creativity and painting skills are evident.
The exhibition will run until January 6th 2017. For all art lovers who happen to reside in London and for those visiting before then, I encourage you to go and see for yourself the work of this special, unique and aspiring artist.

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Cruz Beckham unveils debut Christmas single

Young Cruz Beckham has unveiled his debut single If Every Day Was Christmas, announcing all profits will be going to charity.
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Kylie Jenner Makes Her Met Gala Debut and Looks Sexier and More Sophisticated Than Ever Before

Kylie Jenner, MET Gala 2016, ArrivalsKylie Jenner is the future of fashion, all right.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star made Met Gala debut in New York City Monday, where she wholly embraced the night’s theme:…

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Aritzia to Debut Elevated Studio Collection, 1–01Babaton

BABATON 1-01: Aritzia’s in-house studio collection Babaton, known for its minimalist take on basic wardrobe essentials and sold exclusively at the retailer, is launching a more upscale companion. The 1–01 Babaton collection, which debuts for winter with 11 pieces, is marked by more luxurious Japanese fabrics and architectural, modernist proportions, with some dresses and suits taking cues from Nineties minimalism.
“We believe that every woman should be able to have the best fashion of the season — made from the highest quality fabrics in the world, with the utmost care and precision — at an accessible price point,” Oliver Walsh, the retailer’s chief marketing officer, told WWD. “We heard the desire for a studio collection that explores cutting-edge fabrications and innovative proportions. The curated selection of limited-edition pieces that makes up 1–01 Babaton is our answer to that need. It’s an elevated, considered line for a sophisticated, modern woman.”
Priced from $ 195 to $ 495, the collection launches exclusively at Aritzia stores and online at aritzia.com on Tuesday.

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South Coast Plaza Eyes Men’s Market With Debut Look Book

CUSTOM APPROACH: South Coast Plaza is showing some love to the male shopper.
The Orange County shopping center this evening will host a private event at the Berluti store to celebrate South Coast’s first men’s fall marketing book.
It’s a strategic move for the center as more chatter builds around men’s and the HENRYs consumer — high-earnings, not rich yet shoppers — or male Millennials.
“With the international growth in the men’s wear category, we wanted to shine the spotlight on our unparalleled collection of men’s boutiques, which represent some of the world’s most coveted names, from fashion-forward brands to esteemed sartorial leaders,” said South Coast executive director of marketing Debra Gunn Downing in a statement.
The book includes looks from Berluti, Boss, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Oliver Peoples and Ralph Lauren.
South Coast counts more than 70 boutiques that sell men’s apparel or accessories and both new and existing tenants have taken more notice of the male customer.
COS, expected to open in October, and Massimo Dutti, slated for a November opening, will both carry men’s.
Roberto Cavalli relocated this year and added men’s when it reopened its doors. Dolce & Gabbana opened at South Coast Plaza, also earlier this

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Crosby excited about McDavid's debut — just like everyone else

Crosby excited about McDavid's debut — just like everyone else
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Misty Copeland Makes Her Broadway Debut

Just one week after becoming the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland announced another career milestone — she would make her Broadway debut in the revival of “On The Town” on August 25th.

The 32-year-old dancer may be one of the top ballerinas on the planet, but she’s never publicly sang in her life. With only two weeks of prep and one “put-in” rehearsal, she was scared.

“Stepping into this theater for the first time — I felt nervous and it’s been a long time since I’ve really felt nervous about performing,” Copeland said. “Having one ‘put-in’ rehearsal with the full cast did not feel like enough before making my debut.”

Watch the video above to see Copeland’s journey through rehearsals until her opening night.

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THRILLERS Are The Epitome Of Summer Love With Debut EP ‘Cotton Candy Kisses’

Los Angeles’ newest music sensation and blood-brother duo, THRILLERS, are taking the hipster culture by storm with their debut EP, “Cotton Candy Kisses.”

Summer love is the most obvious thought when initially listening to the mixture of funky ’80s synth-pop beats, sexy guitar riffs and harmonizing male vocals heard throughout this body of work. The six somewhat nostalgic songs take you to a place of happiness. Beginning with the track “Desire”, which is the flame lighter, if you will, continuing with dance your heart out tracks such as “Can’t Get Enough” and “Sugar Love” and, of course, ending in summer splitsville with the classic ballad, “Lipstick on the Mirror.” I’m in musically lovers land with all the tracks on repeat!

Although Gregory and Jeremy Pearson are not yet household names, I’m predicting the world will get well-acquainted with THRILLERS in 2015. After all, they have already established their own indie label, TASTE. Recordings.

Jam out to THRILLERS indie, new wave, lo-fi R&B goodness “Cotton Candy Kisses” on SoundCloud:

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Minecraft: Story Mode Trailer Score: Debut Trailer

trailerscore_thumb_minecraft_story_mode_debut_gt

We didn’t know what the story would be in this new project from Mojang and Traveller’s Tales before watching this trailer. After watching it… We still don’t.
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Humans: AMC’s Sci-fi Pilot U.S. Debut Magnifique!

Do we really need another sci-fi TV show about humanoid beings you may fairly ask? For doesn’t it seem like yesterday when Edward James Olmos acted in Battlestar Galactica before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Initially I was skeptical about Humans. Now I’m not.

Humans is the product of a joint British and American (AMC) sci-fi series that had a recent U.S. launch on Sunday June 28, 2015, whereas U.K. viewers had an earlier launch. Inspired by the award winning Swedish sci-fi TV drama titled Atka manniskor (Real Humans), the pilot of Humans was written by British writers Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley. Besides that, the two are also the creators of the new AMC sci-fi TV series.

By making it as more relatable as possible by not having the story set in some far off future as usual sci-fi, Humans begins in the here and now. And while story location is based in the U.K., the premiere episode does not fail to capture. Though patience is required from the jump. That is, if one is simply not used to leisurely paced storytelling which is the hallmark of AMC dramas.

The story begins in London, just after Joe Hawkins (Tom Goodman-Hill) had breakfast with his three children, teenage daughter Mattie, teenage son Toby, and youngest daughter Sophie. It’s then that he receives a text from his wife Laura (Katherine Parkinson), a lawyer, reading that her case is running over to which she’ll arrive home the next day. Now feeling glum before telling the three children the recent news, to attempt to uplift his spirit and theirs, he tells his daughter Sophie that they’re going shopping. And no it’s not to get the newest breakthrough smartphone.

In the world of the sci-fi film Blade Runner, humanoid machines are called Replicants. Also called skin-jobs, nicknamed by Capt. Bryant, commander of the Los Angeles Police unit of Blade Runner cops who terminates runaway Replicants in the year 2019. And in the world of the sci-fi TV show Battlestar Galactica, humanoid machines are called Cylons, also called skin-jobs borrowed from Blade Runner, yet different from the other metallic battle-bot Centurions. Now, in the world of Humans, humanoid machines are called synths, short for synthetic. Synths are programmed to serve mankind, just like both Replicants and Cylons were originally intended.

“What if she’s not pretty? Can we change her if she’s not pretty?” asks the little girl Sophie Hawkins enthusiastically, before the salesman unveils the plastic synth shroud. Enter Anita, which the Hawkins later agreed to name her, all five-foot nine with a gracefully slender frame, played by former model and drama school trained British actress Gemma Chan. And, of course she’s pretty. For one doesn’t buy expensive luxury tech if it’s not also easy on the eyes.

“This is the best thing you’ll do for your family,” says the salesman before releasing her to Joe Hawkins. For if by chance one is not satisfied after purchasing a synth, one may return it within 30 days, no questions asked, which is explained to Joe Hawkins. Next, after all formalities have been established, the female synth reaches to shake Joe Hawkins hand as she says pleasantly, “Hello Joe, I’m now securely bonded to you as my primary user.” Which shortly afterwards, the irises of her eyes gleam to an iridescent deep green.

Finally the next day, Laura Hawkins arrives. And from there, Anita, who represents the latest achievement of bioengineered beings, quickly changes the Hawkins family dynamic. Laura takes an immediate dislike to Anita, feeling that her role as a wife and mother is now in jeopardy. Especially when she later sees Anita is reading a bedtime story to Sophie. “I’ll take over now, Anita,” says Laura. “No! I want her to do it!” exclaims Sophie, who is enthralled with Anita. To which Laura adds, “Reading to you is Mummy’s job.” “But she doesn’t rush,” Sophie replies. Son Toby, sees Anita as one hot chick. While Joe, as husband and father, sees Anita as a remedy to save both marriage and family life. For during an argument with his wife, he says, “I didn’t buy Anita to replace you. I bought her to get you back.” Whereas rebellious Mattie, also sees Anita as a threat. Although bright, she explains to her parents about her underperforming at school, saying, “I could be anything I want, right? What about a doctor? That would take me seven years, but by then you’ll be able to turn any old synth into a brain surgeon in seconds.” Given that scene, the pilot episode of Humans couldn’t have come at a better time. Such as the recent July/August 2015 issue of The Atlantic with the cover story titled, “Technology will soon erase millions of jobs. Could that be a good thing? – The End of Work.”

Also later, the story flashes back to a scene taking place five weeks earlier in the woods. A group of synths under the care of a young man named Leo (Colin Morgan) begin to set up camp. The synth later to be known as Anita, is among them. Then Leo and a black synth called Max (Ivanno Jeremiah) decide to leave the others to go after supplies. Yet upon their return, they discover their synths are being stolen by men in a van as the two attempt to chase. And thus begins Leo’s odyssey, who begins a desperate search for his family of synths.

Synths are involved in all manners of service, from standard domestic such as Anita to the Hawkins family, as a caretaker like the synth Odi to Dr. George Millican (William Hurt), formerly a brilliant engineer from the beginnings of the synth project, to being also sex workers. For in a later scene, Leo visits a synth brothel to check on the blonde synth Niska, who hates her work. Already knowing that, he vows he would return to come for her but needs more time, and telling her that she would be safer where she is for now.

Meanwhile, another black synth named Fred (Sope Dirisu) while working as a laborer at an apple orchard, fails to make the rendezvous with Leo and Max. For Fred is captured and given to Professor Edwin Hobb, whose mentor was the creator of synths, a man named David Elster. Hobb is the first to discover something unusual about Fred, now temporarily incapacitated. For Hobb discovers that Fred is showing self-awareness, seeing that as he calls a singularity, and concludes other synths may be as well, like those of Leo’s. Hobb, as he speaks to a colleague while looking at Fred in fascination, sees also the possibility of danger. Now recognizing the possibility that his former mentor gave other synths consciousness, and that the world is becoming ever more dependent on synth labor, he then asks, “Do you think they would still want to be slaves?”

Then also there’s another danger, touched upon in a recent on-line June 25, 2015 article by Katharine Trendacosta for io9, titled, “In AMC’s New Android Show Humans, People Are the Real Monsters.” For within, the actor Tom Goodman-Hill states, “Because the question is not just whether the synths are sentient and what sort of people might they become, it’s more about the humans not realizing how inhuman they can be. And how unlikable they can be without even trying.” To which fellow actor Katherine Parkinson adds, “That’s sort of the human condition full stop. We cause the damage and then worry about it afterwards.”

Such a sentiment, is somewhat similar to a scene from Battlestar Galactica the mini-series. Near the beginning of the pilot episode, there’s a decommissioning ceremony on the starboard hangar bay, as Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) is giving a speech. For within the speech, he says, “We decided to play God, create life (Cylons). When that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn’t our fault, not really. You cannot play God, then wash your hands of the things that you’ve created.”

The pilot episode of Humans premiered both solid acting and story, and from there onward, can only get better.

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Ron Diamond’s Animation Show of Shows Coming to Comic-Con, Getting Ready for Nationwide Debut

Toon fans rejoice! The Animation Show of Shows will soon be coming to a theater near you.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter, this animation industry favorite will now transition from being an insider-only exclusive to becoming a program that film fans around the world can participate in and enjoy.

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For those of you who don’t know: The Animation Show of Shows has long been Ron Diamond‘s baby. For the past 16 years, this veteran animation producer has circled the globe seeking out the very best new animated short films. Which sounds like it might be a fun way for a cinema fan to spend their time, but is actually a quite challenging task.

“Just recently, I sat through a screening of over 200 student films. All because I was looking for those one or two short animated films that I might consider adding to the line-up on my next Animation Show of Shows,” Ron explained during a recent phone interview.

And previously — once Diamond has selected all of that year’s animated gems — he’d then truck this feature-length compilation to animation studios like Disney, Pixar and Blue Sky. All with the hope that — by exposing these creatives to what the next generation of animators was up to — he’d then inspire these folks to explore unexpected ideas.”

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“And while I don’t mean to brag, I think that I’ve got a pretty good eye for this stuff. 29 of the films that I’ve showcased in previous Animation Show of Shows have gone on to get Academy Award nominations. And 9 of those animated short films then went on to win the Oscar,” Ron continued.

But after 16 years of annually assembling this great collection of animated short films which was then meant to educate and inspire industry insiders, Diamond was looking to broaden his horizons. He wanted the general public to now be able to get in on the fun. Which is why Ron set up a not-for-profit organization that would then make it possible to The Animation Show of Shows to expand its mission.

“After all, it’s one thing to show these new animated short films to industry insiders who then might have some knowledge of who these fledgling filmmakers are, the reputations of their teachers and/or their independent work. And it’s an entirely different thing to show these great new animated short films to an audience that’s going in cold. That has absolutely no context when it comes to who these filmmakers are and where the ideas for each of these new animated shorts may have come from,” Diamond stated.

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That was what really drove Ron to get a Kickstarter campaign going for the Animation Show of Shows. If he was going to transform this showcase of new animated short films into something that members of the general film-going public could genuinely understand and appreciate … Well, that then meant that Diamond would have to craft profiles of the talented individuals who had created these animated short films. And given that Ron prides himself on always putting together a program that represents what is going on internationally in animation that year, that then meant Diamond was going to need to send film crews around the globe to create these contextual pieces that would profile that year’s top animators.

Thanks to the generous pledges of the people who supported Ron’s vision for a more ambitious, broader reaching Animation Show of Shows, those profiles will now be included in Diamond’s next feature-length compilation of the finest animated shorts from around the world. Not only that, but Ron will be using these funds to expand into the field of restoration. Singling out great animated short films from the past that need to be preserved and shared.

By the way, if you’re headed to San Diego next week for the 2015 edition of Comic-Con and want to get a sense of the sort of show that Ron Diamond plans on presenting very soon at a theater near you, the 16th Annual Animation Show of Shows will be presented in Hall H on Friday, July 10th from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Hopefully — as part of the Q & A session that’s supposed to follow this presentation — Diamond will then discuss his plans for this award-winning series of animated short films.

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Best of E3 2015 Awards Best Debut

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COACHELLA’S DESERT STORM CONTINUES: Amid the more ephemeral marketing events, Trina Turk will make a lasting impression at Coachella with the April 8 debut of her second Palm Springs store. Located in the lobby of the Parker Palm Springs hotel, the boutique will offer a curated mix of poolside gear, activewear, accessories, gifts and travel items along with Turk’s 20th anniversary capsule collection. More brands have also joined the event mix for the festival’s first weekend: Coach creative director Stuart Vevers will host the next Installation of Coach Backstage concerts on April 11 in La Quinta; MAC Cosmetics and Mia Moretti will celebrate the DJ’s music festival-inspired collection with a poolside event the same day at the Ingleside Inn; and Refinery 29 and A-OK Collective will host a weekend-long pool party called Paradiso at the Sagauro Hotel on April 11 and 12. Kiehls is also showing love for the men in the form of a barbershop at The Retreat @ Coachella, a three-day takeover of Sparrows Lodge.

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New York Film Festival 2014 #2: Ethan Hawke’s Sweet Debut, the Dardennes’ Latest & More

THE 52ND NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL

THE LOOK OF SILENCE *** 1/2
SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION ***
EDEN ** 1/2
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT ** 1/2

The official launch for the New York Film Festival begins on September 26 with the world premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl. They’re in luck; the early reviews are raves. And the critic screenings are in overdrive with three or four movies playing during the day for over a week now. So there’s a lot to catch up on and a lot to see. Here are two very good documentaries and two dramas. Only one may be truly great at first blush but they’re all worthwhile in one way or another.

THE LOOK OF SILENCE *** 1/2

Director Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated film The Act Of Killing is one of the brashest, strangest, downright surreal films of recent years. It looks at the bizarre and unsettling facts of Indonesia, where under cover of the fight against communism a massive genocide took place in the 1960s. The people who committed it are still in power, still living among the survivors of the people they brutally slaughtered. The PBS series POV is airing the film on October 6 and it’s not to be missed. What makes the film so strange? Well, Oppenheimer met with the people who committed these crimes against humanity and somehow got them to reenact their murderous actions…in the style of various movie genres. This doesn’t begin to accurately capture the rare mood of the film, which is funny and horrifying. It’s no surprise that Errol Morris and Werner Herzog championed it; they love breaking the rules in their documentaries as well.

Now comes a companion piece, The Look Of Silence. It is in many ways the polar opposite of the first. No gimmicks, no tricks, no high concept framing to coax people into documenting their own crimes. It simply shows the brother of one man who was slaughtered quietly talking to and sometimes confronting the many, many people in power who are responsible for murder.

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One of my (many) pet peeves is describing this actor or that director as “brave.” There’s nothing brave about playing a part on stage or in a movie, no matter how audacious. Save “brave” for people who genuinely risk their lives for others, like cops and firemen and soldiers and the like. But genuine courage is the only way to describe the father who takes center stage in this work. Oppenheimer’s earlier film documented who killed his brother and how. In this movie, the man literally risks his life to confront the people — including an uncle — who did this.

The title comes from the way he can ask a question and then simply sit and stare as their absurd, insulting, petty, dismissive or disingenuous answers fall to the ground, unworthy of comment. Some crumple under his quiet bearing of witness; others literally threaten his life. A young woman hears her elderly father describe drinking the blood of the people he slaughtered (in order to not go crazy, others explain, in a superstitious response to the evil they were perpetrating). She begs forgiveness. Others stonily refuse to admit the obvious. It’s an unnerving, potent, remarkable work.

And it’s no joke: many of the technical credits on the film say simply Anonymous, a potent reminder of how very dangerous this truly brave act was. It’s not just a brave act; it’s also a genuine work of art. Surely at the beginning of every audience Q&A, at every press conference, the first question will be: has this man been killed? One of the best films of the year, The Look Of Silence is a startlingly different but just as potent companion piece to one of the best documentaries in a long time.

Here’s the trailer for The Art Of Killing, which airs on PBS October 6.

SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION ***

Ethan Hawke is becoming rather annoying. He’s been an acclaimed actor on stage and screen for many years. He’s written novels. Then he took up journalism and delivered a great profile of Kris Kristofferson for Rolling Stone. Now he’s starring in Boyhood, one of the most acclaimed films of the year and a genuine indie hit. To top it off, he’s making his debut as a documentary filmmaker with this sweet valentine to Seymour Bernstein, a beloved music teacher.

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They met at a dinner party a few years ago with Hawke immediately opening up about his almost crippling stage fright and self-doubts about whether what he did had any worth. Bernstein was an ideal sounding board: he’d quit his brilliant public career as a pianist and devoted himself to teaching and composing.

Bernstein’s philosophy is that practice of any craft, any talent, makes you better at your craft and better as a person. He turned his back on the treadmill of fame and perhaps feels it’s mostly destructive. But fear is ok, even essential. Doubt is ok. And the doing of it, the working at your talent is essential. So indeed, is creating and not just recreating. (A pianist who plays a piece by Bach is “recreating.” A pianist who composes his own work is “creating.” One is not worthier than the other but Bernstein feels strongly that artists should create.

Hawke, as a writer and director and producer sometimes beleaguered for having the temerity to do so (much like james Franco is today) surely was sympathetic to this. Plus Bernstein was so delightful, so full of life, so happy in his calling as a teacher. Why didn’t someone make a movie about him? Why indeed?

So Hawke did. The film is quietly bold. It’s a profile of Bernstein. But it also documents his philosophy of life and Hawke’s struggles are a modest subplot. This makes it a little shaggy, especially when it climaxes with what should be the cheap sentimentality of a public performance: Bernstein gives a benefit concert for the theater company Hawke helped found. But this becomes the film’s masterstroke since Hawke intercuts footage of Bernstein practicing the piece and performing the piece, symbolizing the man’s approach to life with one bold stroke.

Not since To Be And To Have has a teacher been shown in such a disarming way; you want to immediately sit in on one of Bernstein’s classes. Or at least buy some of his music. (A brief search turned up nothing officially in print.) Hopefully a soundtrack won’t be far behind this charming work.

EDEN ** 1/2

Film festivals can play a vital role for some filmmakers. They may not achieve international success at first. But a festival that believes in a talent can keep championing their work, telling critics to pay attention. I was not enamored with Mia Hansen-Love’s debut Father Of My Children. So I skipped her similar seeming second feature. But here she is again with a new movie. It’s radically different in nature from her earlier work and the buzz is good so here I am.

Indeed, Eden is very different from her small scale dramas, though it surely is linked in theme and other subtler ways. On the surface, it’s about raves and DJs, tracing the career of one talented young artist from fan to deejay to a name big enough to travel the world a bit and rub shoulders with the likes of Daft Punk. it’s not about fame and disillusionment, however. This isn’t the life of an artist, as such. Eden rather interestingly shows passion — in this case, for garage music — turning into a job. And a young man slowly realizes that the joy of his youth isn’t going to be enough to sustain him for the rest of his life. What next?

It roams over many years but has a light touch. Since the film isn’t truly interested in deejays as an art form, we don’t spend much time at all learning how they do what they do, to say the least. Our hero Paul (the handsome Felix de Givry) is seen more often being hapless in love than working at his craft. (Seymour would have something to say about that.) The rave scenes are pretty but never quite get under your skin; you can see people reacting to the music and the deejays dancing in ecstasy but it’s all at a slight remove. Perhaps because they know eventually the party will end.

That remove is probably the film’s biggest strength. They’re not making a grand statement about raves, how even the most rebellious art forms become co-opted. They’re not examining the scourge of drugs. They’re not romanticizing or criticizing youthful passion. Eden simply watches life happen; it just so happens that in this case life is often at a rave or disco.

The result is certainly meandering. And surely it’s not a good thing that after more than two hours of film time and years of story we barely have a sense of Paul’s relationship with his artistic partner in deejaying. But de Givry is very compelling, along with Roman Kolinka as an artist friend, and something here has stayed with me a little. Hansen-Love isn’t there yet. But the faith shown in her by festivals like NYFF might pay off yet.

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT ** 1/2

The new film by the Dardenne brothers is a disappointment. So often, their movies rank among the best of the year and have for nearly 20 years. They’ve made seven feature films beginning in 1996 and five of them have been great, often really great. Only The Silence of Lorna from 2008 felt like a genuine misfire, with its hokey plot contrivance. They got back on track with 2011’s The Kid With A Bike, a movie that seemed to push their signature style into modest new territory with good effect.

Two Days, One Night however is a noble failure, a step backward as it seems to recapitulate what they’ve done before with more elan. Still, it’s a timely tale with a strong hook and their fans will surely not feel they’ve wasted their time by checking it out. Marion Cotillard stars as a woman who has fallen into a serious depression and is now recovered. Or is that recovering? We stay right on top with Sandra as her story quickly reveals itself. She’s been on leave from work but the owner of the company forced her coworkers to vote: did they want Sandra to get her job back or receive their annual bonus. The company couldn’t afford to do both. After a vote heavily weighted against Sandra, the owner is forced to agree to a new vote. Sandra has the weekend to go visit each of her 16 coworkers and plead for her job… and in the process ask them to give up a 1000 euro bonus.

Two Days, One Night has the usual immediacy of a Dardenne film, movies where the camera is usually perched on the shoulder of the protagonist and never leaves their side. But this film soon feels too episodic, too neatly structured in a way. Each coworker has their own psychodrama on display: one is worried about voting against what the owners want because he’s on a limited contract, another has been wracked with guilt over voting against Sandra and begs her forgiveness, yet another has a troubled marriage, many try to avoid her and of course they can all use (sometimes desperately) that 1000 euros.

Quickly, the meetings between Sandra and her coworkers become too schematic. A happy scene of acceptance is invariably followed by one of rejection or indifference; if one features a poor family, another is sure to feature a family using the bonus for luxuries like a back porch and so on.

Some late twists feel cheap and should have bigger ramifications; others give the tale a much-needed substance. No movie by the Dardennes could be without worth and Cotillard is always a pleasure to watch. But this is a minor entry in their filmography and hopefully just a stumble on the way to the next great work by one of the most talented duos in movie history.

MOVIES I’VE SEEN SO FAR IN 2014 (not a good year for movie-going for me)
All ratings out of four stars.

1. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) **
2. 20 Feet From Stardom **
3. The Wolf Of Wall Street ** 1/2
4. In The House (Ozon) ***
5. Laurence Anyways *** 1/2
6. The Angels’ Share ***
7. Philomena **
8. Mad Love (1935 w Peter Lorre) *
9. Women In The Wind (1939 w Kay Francis) **
10. The Hunt *** 1/2
11. Happy People: A Year In The Taiga ***
12. The Painting ** 1/2
13. The Spectacular Now *** 1/2
14. Dallas Buyers Club * 1/2
15. Blue Jasmine ** 1/2
16. The Story Of The Last Chrysanthemum (1939) ***
17. The Harvey Girls (1946) * 1/2
18. Cairo Station (1958) *** 1/2
19. Hannah Arendt * 1/2
20. The Act Of Killing *** 1/2
21. To The Wonder ***/
22. No ***
23. American Hustle **
24. Stories We Tell ***
25. Only God Forgives ***
26. Computer Chess ** 1/2
27. The Past ***
28. Captain America: The Winter Soldier ***
29. Blue Ruin ***
30. X-Men: Days Of Future Past **
31. Snowpiercer ** 1/2
32. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes *** /
33. Vicious (UK TV series) **
34. Endeavour Series Two ** 1/2
35. The Fault In Our Stars * 1/2
36. Escape In The Fog, dir Budd Boetticher (1945) **
37. Guardians of the Galaxy ** 1/2
38. Magic In The Moonlight **
39. Bedknobs & Broomsticks (1971) *
40. ’71 ***
41. George Gently Series 1 (UK TV show) *** 1/2
42. The Look Of Silence *** 1/2
43. Seymour: An Introduction ***
44. Eden ** 1/2
45. Two Days, One Night ** 1/2

_____________

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the founder and CEO of the forthcoming website BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. It’s like a fall book preview or holiday gift guide — but every week in every category. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free access to press screenings with the understanding that he will be writing a review.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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‘Frozen Fever,’ An Animated Short With An All-New Song, Will Debut In 2015

The kingdom of isolation just got another inhabitant. Disney will release “Frozen Fever” in the spring of 2015, a new short film featuring characters from “Frozen.” Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck will return to direct the short, which will include a brand-new song from Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the Oscar-winning duo behind “Let It Go.”

“It’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk,” reads a plot description for “Frozen Fever” provided by Disney. As the studio noted, Olaf, the snowman voiced by Josh Gad in “Frozen,” will also appear. No word from the studio if Gad or stars Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff (as respectively, Anna, Elsa and Kristoff) will reprise their voice roles for the short.

Released on Nov. 22 of last year, “Frozen” grossed $ 1.274 billion worldwide. It won two Oscars at the Academy Awards back in March: Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (for “Let It Go”).

For reference, the films Disney has set for release next spring include “Tomorrowland” with George Clooney and Pixar’s “Inside Out.” The studio will also release “Cinderella” in early March.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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Solo Debut: Film Themes – Easy Playalong Clarinet. Sheet Music

Solo Debut: Film Themes – Easy Playalong Clarinet. Sheet Music


Capture the magic of the silver screen with this special selection of themes from the world’s greatest movies, all arranged for the elementary Clarinet student. Ten melodies have been chosen from blockbusting Hollywood favourites including The Lion King , Toy Story , The Godfather and Lord Of The Rings . Each theme has been carefully adapted to be accessible to the early performer, giving you the chance to master your skills and techniques by playing the tunes you know and love. You will even find a section of helpful performance tips to guide your learning and inform your practicing. The accompanying CD has professional performances of every piece, alongside backing tracks for you to use for both rehearsal and performance. FREE internet downloads are also available with this publication, with piano accompaniments and practice demos downloadable to your computer along with 2 bonus tracks!

Price: $
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Jimmy Fallon’s Stellar ‘Tonight Show’ Debut Showcases New York

NEW YORK (AP) — If Jimmy Fallon had already proven he was a natural hosting NBC’s “Late Night,” he left no doubt Monday that “The Tonight Show” now fits him like a glove.

As promised during the much-promoted run-up to his “Tonight Show” debut, Fallon made no drastic changes to the “Late Night” formula that had served him for five years. He remained funny, gracious, bubbly and, above all, comfortable presiding over a show that was different mostly for its earlier time slot, its classier production values and legendary brand name. “We can book people from the West Coast?!” he joked at his newfound status.

He did pretty well with his bookings on opening night: Will Smith and the rock group U2.

But all that was ahead.

First, his viewers beheld his new set, boasting burnished-wood paneling and panoramic blue curtains.

They had seen his filmed opening — Jimmy as the New York nightcrawler — shot by director Spike Lee.

They discovered that his band, the Roots, had grown by two from its already husky eight pieces.

Then out he came, to thunderous applause, and planted himself on his mark (a four-leaf clover) to deliver his first monologue.

“I’m Jimmy Fallon,” he began, and, with a nod to past late-night turbulence that most recently saw his “Tonight” predecessor, Jay Leno, make an unsought exit, he added, “I’ll be your host — for now.”

He expressed gratitude for his new gig, introduced his parents in the studio audience, and dispensed love in every direction — and made it sound authentic.

He had a few Olympics jokes, one offering sympathy to NBC sportscaster Bob Costas, who was sidelined from several days of Olympics coverage with a blinding bout of pinkeye.

“You could tell he was having trouble when he spent half-an-hour interviewing a mop he thought was Shaun White,” Fallon cracked.

Back at his desk, he voiced what seemed like an aside: “To my buddy who said that I’d never be the host of ‘The Tonight Show’ — and you know who you are — you owe me a hundred bucks, buddy.”

With that, Robert De Niro burst through the curtain and plunked a hundred dollars on Fallon’s desk.

But that wasn’t all. In rapid succession, a parade of other celebs circled through right behind him. They included Joe Namath, Rudolph Giuliani, Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Mike Tyson, Stephen Colbert and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Joan Rivers was also among them, repaying her “debt” and making a bit of history in the bargain: 49 years earlier to the day, the veteran comedian had made her first appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in that very studio, and had not appeared on “Tonight” since 1987, when she was banned by Carson after jumping to Fox to host her own short-lived show.

A key part of the celebratory spirit for Fallon was the fact that, after more than 40 years in Los Angeles, he and NBC have brought “Tonight” back to New York and Rockefeller Plaza, where it has reclaimed Studio 6B, once the home of Carson and, before him, “Tonight” host Jack Paar.

If viewers needed visual evidence of “Tonight’s” restored New York state of mind, Fallon delivered it with flourish.

From the observation deck atop the G.E Building he occupies, he introduced U2, who, 70 stories aloft, performed a new song, “Invisible,” against a magnificent New York cityscape at a perfect moment of dusk. The backdrop was so beautiful you might have sworn it was computer generated, but it was real, as was the bitter cold that had the musicians, and a legion of fans gathered round, clad in heavy winter wear.

But after a commercial break, Fallon and his musical guests were cozy, back in the studio, where U2, seated on the powder-blue couch, performed an acoustic version of their Oscar-nominated song, “Ordinary Love.”

It was a fine ending to a much-assured hour.

“I just want to do the best I can and take care of this show for a while,” Fallon told viewers. “If you guys let me stick around long enough, maybe I’ll get the hang of it.”

No worries. For five years on “Late Night” he was getting the hang of it.

___

EDITOR’S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier .

___

Online:

http://www.nbc.com
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Bryan Cranston To Make His Broadway Debut In ‘All The Way’ (VIDEO)

Bryan Cranston is moving from the small screen to the big stage.

The 57-year-old “Breaking Bad” star is set to make his Broadway debut later this winter in the political play “All The Way,” and HuffPost Live has the first look at his performance as President Lyndon B Johnson.

“All The Way” made its debut at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in July 2012 with actor Jack Willis in the starring role, then jumped to the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., this past September, where Cranston joined the cast.

“[Cranston] is unassuming. He is funny. He is charming. He’s a wonderful team player. And he’s a natural on the stage,” the play’s producer, Jeffrey Richards, told the Associated Press.

The play, written by Rober Schenkkan and directed by Bill Rauch, follows LBJ in his first year as president. It is set to begin previews Feb. 10 at the Neil Simon Theater.

Check out a preview of Bryan Cranston as LBJ in the video above.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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