5 items from 2016
Burt Bacharach, who’s being honored at the Newport Beach Film Festival with its Legends Award, is a kind of anomaly in modern pop. With lyricist Hal David, the composer was responsible for more than 50 top 40 hits back in the day when Motown, the British Invasion and homegrown psychedelia all shared the same air space on the FM radio dial.
Bacharach was not exactly a frontman, despite his movie-star looks, and the Brill Building songwriting tradition from which he and David emerged was going out of vogue by the late ’60s. On the surface, their music — interpreted by the likes of Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and Aretha Franklin — might’ve seemed square to the Flower Power generation. After all, David seemed to be channeling his inner desperate housewife on tunes like “Wives and Lovers” and “One Less Bell to Answer,” with narratives that likely made most feminists cringe »
- Steve Chagollan
Switch-Up Week has never been easy on Dancing with the Stars, and that appears to still be true for season 22. "It's kind of like starting at week 1 again," pro dancer Mark Ballas told People on Monday of having to switch partners for the upcoming week of competition. "But that's the nature of the show. there is nothing we can do about it, so there is no use in complaining. We just all get to work!" Instead of being partnered with Ufc fighter Paige VanZant, Ballas will be dancing a Salsa to Eddie Palmieri's "La Malanga" with Good Morning America's Ginger Zee. »
- Patrick Gomez, @PatrickGomezLA
“All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.”
Quentin Tarantino took Jean-Luc Godard’s quote to heart, populating his blood-splattered films with some of the most iconic female characters in the last twenty-five years. There’s almost always a female lead or, at the very least, a villain.
Quentin's next movie, The Hateful Eight, isn't any different. Early press for the film has raved about Jennifer Jason Leigh and her performance as Daisy Domergue. So get ready for Tarantino’s eighth film with “Bang Bang” byNancy Sinatra and a celebration of the badass babes that have defined Quentin Tarantino’s filmography.
Who is Tarantino’s greatest female character?
- Sasha James
This year’s best original song front runner seems to be Lady Gaga and Diane Warren’s “Til It Happens To You” from the documentary, The Hunting Ground, which examines the prevalence of sexual assault cases on college campuses throughout the U.S. The song is very personal for both artists, as both recently opened up about their past experiences with sexual assault in a L.A. Times interview.
The song’s importance, and its resonance with audiences (the music video has over 24 million hits on Youtube) and Academy voters, lies in its social commentary. The four young women who are the subjects of the film (Annie E. Clark, Andrea L. Pino, Sofie Karasek and Kamilah Willingham) recently penned a letter to the songwriters thanking them and that “the release of your song will have an unparalleled impact on the culture of campuses nationwide,” as reported by Billboard. »
- Patrick Shanley
The novel by Rachel Kushner revolves around life in 1950s in Cuba just before the Castro revolution. The book was finalist for a National Book Award. Nagy is on board to create the TV series and serve as showrunner should the project go the distance.
Nagy will exec produce “Telex” with Anonymous Content’s Rosalie Swedlin and Adam Shulman. Anonymous Content’s production arm is on fire with two best picture Oscar noms this year — for “The Revenant” and “Spotlight” — and the Golden Globe win earlier this month for its USA Network drama “Mr. Robot.”
“I am thrilled to begin work on bringing the complex, beautiful, colliding worlds of Rachel Kushner »
- Cynthia Littleton
5 items from 2016
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