14 items from 2017
“I was young and I thought it was really overwhelming and it was really intense,” Silverstone says in an interview this week at the Variety Studio in Cannes Lions. “I did a bunch of movies, and then nine movies later, I did ‘Clueless.’ When it’s like, ‘That’s Alicia Silverstone!,’ everywhere I went, it was a lot for a little person. But then life goes on and you figure it out.”
Silverstone was at the annual advertising conference in the South of France, promoting her new TV series “American Women,” which will debut next year on the Paramount Network. The show is based on “Real Housewives” star Kyle Richards’ mom’s life, set in 1970s after a painful divorce. Mena Suvari plays a girlfriend who moves in with Silverstone’s character. “When I got the script, I was really excited,” Suvari says. “I always wanted to do more comedy.”
In the videos below, Silverstone offers some of her memories about working on “Clueless,” her life after the ’90s hit, and women in Hollywood.
(1) Was “Clueless” Groundbreaking?
“One studio said no to it, they didn’t think anyone was interested in watching a movie about a young girl,” Silverstone recalls. “Those people now kick themselves that they were not part of that film. They were like, ‘We don’t think anybody is going to care. It’s not going to sell tickets.'”
(2) Life After “Clueless”
“Yes, it changed my life,” Silverstone says. In the years that followed, she took a break from acting in big-screen spectacles to focus her energy on advocating for animal rights. “I sort of pushed it away and went another way. Now I realize I love both,” she says about acting and activism.
(3) Revisiting “Clueless”
In May, Silverstone attended a screening of “Clueless” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with 400 fans. It was the first time her 6-year-old son saw the film.
“We were laying under the stars,” Silverstone says. “Seeing it on the screen like that was an incredible thing to share with my son and go, ‘Wow I’m really proud of that.’ I’m proud of all the work on the screen, all the different artists who created that. Super proud.”
(4) The “Wonder Woman” effect
Silverstone and Suvari spoke about what the success of “Wonder Woman” means for the movie business. “We have made strides, of course,” Silverstone says. “Over the years, there was ‘Mean Girls’ and ‘Clueless.’ It’s like a few steps forward and back.”
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- Ramin Setoodeh
Author: Adam Lowes
Us comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia may not be a comedic household name here in the UK as yet, but he’s been slowly building up a strong reputation State-side, particularly with his stand-up specials and one-man shows. His breakthrough in the latter, Sleepwalk with Me, formed the basis for his directorial debut of the same name, which went on to win an award at 2012’s Sundance Film Festival.
He’s also parlayed his talents on stage into a burgeoning acting career, cropped up recently as a supporting player in high-profile works like Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck and the Ya adaptation The Fault in Our Stars. His small screen roles has seen him appear in popular fare such as Girls and Orange Is the New Black.
Birbiglia’s appealing mix of broad laughs and excruciating truths found in both his work under the spotlight and behind the camera, »
- Adam Lowes
Hollywood was quick to mourn the loss of the acclaimed director Jonathan Demme, who died of cancer complications.
Demme made about as big a splash in Hollywood as anyone ever has with 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs” which earned five Oscars including best director for Demme. His follow-up, 1993’s “Philadelphia,” earned Tom Hanks his first Academy Award.
His most recent work behind the camera was an episode of the Fox police drama “Shots Fired,” which is scheduled to air on April 26 — the same day the director’s death was announced. He also recently filmed Justin Timberlake’s 2016 concert tour documentary “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.” His most recent feature was the Meryl Streep starrer, “Ricki and the Flash.”
Hanks wrote in a statement, “Jonathan taught us how big a heart a person can have, and how it will guide »
- Seth Kelley
The New York Daily News reports that court documents filed Monday reveal that Glass and writer Anaheed Alani, 46, were ending their marriage. The duo wed in 2005 before moving from Chicago to New York.
The 58-year-old radio host shared that the couple had actually “separated a few years ago” in a March 17 broadcast of This American Life.
Glass hinted at problems within the relationship during an interview with The Guardian published in May 2016.
From Coinage: Before You Move In Together, »
- Stephanie Petit
Step out of the spotlight and step into the weekend. Even though we know the training never truly stops, performers in the busy, beautiful city need to pencil in a break every once in awhile. Check out seven of our favorite cultural and creative events happening in NYC. 1. Get an inside look at Broadway’s “Dear Evan Hansen.”Join director Michael Greif and actor Ben Platt for a conversation moderated by “This American Life” host Ira Glass. The April 16 event will take place at 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. (Ticket prices vary.) 2. Put on your Sunday clothes at this Easter parade.Strut down the streets—and get your picture taken at the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival that dates back to the 1870s. Bring your bonnet on April 16, and meet at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the best view. (No ticket required.) 3. Get a taste »
The fact that a new podcast called S-Town is suddenly gaining Serial levels of buzz shouldn't come as a shock. After all, the show is from the same team that produced Serial and it also documents a single story over the course of several episodes. There's a dream team behind it: longtime This American Life producer Brian Reed is the host, Serial cocreator Julie Snyder is the executive producer, and Serial host Sarah Koenig and NPR icon Ira Glass are editorial advisers. All these people are podcast rock stars, and their combined genius has resulted in a story so full of twists and turns, you can't image how it will end. The question of what S-Town is about isn't easily answered, mainly because I don't want to spoil anything for you. I'll start by sharing the official synopsis via the S-Town website: "S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, »
- Maggie Pehanick
Soft-spoken and charming, Birbiglia owns his niche as a comedian-storyteller.
Fresh off the release of his second (and first non-autobiographical) film, Don’t Think Twice, Mike Birbiglia brings a new stand-up special to the usurping regent of filmed comedy hours, Netflix. Like Birbiglia’s other stand-up, especially the special My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Thank God For Jokes softly allows the comedian to barge non-threateningly into his audience’s hearts like an old roommate that you’d never thought you’d see again.
Birbiglia’s self-awareness of his own niche appeal, a sleepy introspectively intellectual goofball, is a hallmark of indie success. You have to know yourself before you know your market, but you have to know both to move forward. Birbiglia, a self-described niche comedian and independent filmmaker, has these two ends of an industry-wide production chain wrapped up. His comic anxiety and curtain-parting come from a place of professional savvy as well as personal aptitude. He »
- Jacob Oller
There are few subcultures more niche than that of “the color guard.” The vast majority of people may know them only as those performers working alongside high school marching bands during football games each fall. Young men and women taking to the field to perform routines heavily centered around the use of flags, rifles and sabers, these routines are more often than not overlooked by people waiting for the next play of whatever game they’re partaking in.
However, not in the eyes of iconic musician David Byrne.
In the summer of 2015, Byrne took to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, along with a collection of some of today’s greatest artists and color guard teams to shine a light on the real beauty, importance and power of this artform. And filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross were there to capture it.
The film born from this event is called Contemporary Color and is a breathlessly beautiful, »
- Joshua Brunsting
Some documentaries set out to heal the world, while others succeed in making it a better place by the mere fact of their existence. A clear example of the latter, Bill and Turner Ross’ “Contemporary Color” is a gift to audiences everywhere, a spectacular kinetic pinwheel of a movie that whisks us away from big issues to celebrate an exceptional creative collaboration between Talking Heads frontman/founder David Byrne and 10 East Coast color guard squads, resulting in a one-of-a-kind concert movie through which this peculiar American art form — a meticulously choreographed mix of flag spinning, weapon tossing, and dance — gets a splendid, soul-recharging big-screen treatment.
So-called “winter guard” is a curious discipline to begin with, obscure to some, downright sacred to others, that evolved out of the ancient military tradition by which a regiment presents and protects its flag (or “colors”). Today, it is practiced at the high school and »
- Peter Debruge
David Byrne leaned back in his chair and stared up at the ceiling of his charmingly cluttered Soho office: “I like to keep trying new things — it keeps me on my toes.”
Um, yeah. In the last decade alone, the 64-year-old art-rock legend has authored two books, released a pair of collaborative albums (one with Brian Eno, the other with Annie Clark), written a musical about Joan of Arc, turned a building into an instrument, scored a Shia Labeouf movie, and teamed up with Fatboy Slim to create a disco opera about the life and times of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines.
For Byrne, a restless iconoclast who founded Talking Heads with some Risd chums in 1975 and has been expanding his horizons ever since, such unbridled creativity is just par for the course. He’s completely at the mercy of his muse — no matter where it »
- David Ehrlich
You'd normally be hard-pressed to find a link between color guards – those tween-to-teen troupes who do military-style dance routines involving waving flags and spinning rifles – hipster rock/Edm bands and micro-indie regional documentarians; a microscope used to be required to view the Venn diagram overlap. Enter David Byrne, an artist who's never found a bunch of disparate elements he couldn't turn into a creative goulash, and who became a fan of the Middle-America past time after a group asked to use his music for a routine. The former Talking Head »
"What is it about color guard? Well, tonight you're going to find out." In the summer of 2015, legendary musician David Byrne staged an event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to celebrate the creativity of Color Guard: synchronized dance routines involving flags, rifles, and sabers, colloquially known as "the sport of the arts." Contemporary Color is a performance documentary capturing the exhilarating experience of enjoying this once-in-a-lifetime show. Performers at the event included St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Devonté Hynes, Zola Jesus, Ad-Rock, tUnE-yArDs, and Ira Glass, collaborating with 10 color guard teams from across the Us and Canada. This looks like a very vibrant and energetic show captured exquisitely on camera. Here's the official trailer for Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross' doc Contemporary Color, from YouTube: In the summer of 2015, legendary musician David Byrne staged an event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to celebrate the art of Color Guard: synchronized dance routines involving flags, »
- Alex Billington
In the summer of 2015, former Talking Heads mastermind David Byrne recruited a crew of forward-thinking musicians – including St. Vincent, Devonté Hynes, Tune-Yards, Zola Jesus and Money Mark/Ad-Rock – to write original music for "Contemporary Color," a series of elaborately choreographed color guard events.
Oscilloscope Laboratories released a new trailer for the bizarre project, showcasing the 10 color guards and 10 composers (also including Nelly Furtado, How to Dress Well, Lucius and Nico Muhly/Ira Glass). "Everybody kinda gets one shot at this, and this is it," a giddy Byrne tells the camera crew. »
Heads up: one of this year’s most exciting films, Contemporary Color, begins rolling out very soon. A concert movie that looks and moves like nearly no other — a spectacle often more along the lines of Metropolis or Koyaanisqatsi than Stop Making Sense — it nevertheless brings to mind the Jonathan Demme classic for, if no other reason, the involvement of David Byrne, who launched a nationwide performance series that mingles high-school color-guard teams with best-selling recording artists (St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, Nelly Furtado, and Byrne himself). Brothers Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross‘ documentary captures the efforts of both, resulting in a deeply sympathetic story of creative expression.
So I said in my review from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, where I added, “[They’ve] created an experience that captures (and may even supersede) the fertile ground upon which it’s been built. In its formal inventiveness and compassion, Contemporary Color »
- Nick Newman
14 items from 2017
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