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Newswire: Leonardo DiCaprio and the Stranger Things kids are going to South By South Lawn

4 hours ago

Barack Obama has already secured his legacy as a fairly cool president, but in October he’s going to make sure to underline that point by holding South By South Lawn, his very own festival celebrating music, film, and “interactive”—the same three pillars used by the real South By Southwest. We first reported on South By South Lawn earlier this month, and now the White House has officially announced some of the cool stuff that people attending the festival will be able to experience. Naturally, a lot of it is based around education and making the world a better place, but there’s also music, a student film fest, and a virtual reality experience that shows you what it’s like to live in a tiny prison cell, so there will be some more traditionally entertaining things as well.

The music section is the lightest, but the South By »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Netflix picks up backwards-moving crime drama

5 hours ago

Movies that progress linearly have been pretty standard for a while, with even big names like The Shawshank Redemption or The Godfather having scenes occur in a chronological fashion (give or take a flashback here and there). However, despite there being an entire Seinfeld episode based around arbitrarily telling a story in reverse, the idea of a movie having its narrative unfold backwards hasn’t really caught on in a meaningful way. According to Variety, though, Netflix is going to give it a try with an original film called Shimmer Lake, a “crime thriller” that happens in reverse.

Variety says it’s about a “local sheriff’s quest to unlock the mystery of three small-town criminals and a bank heist gone wrong.” The movie will show each day of the investigation in reverse, presumably culminating in the heist itself so the viewer can see how it actually went down. Shimmer »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Monty Python’s Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia

7 hours ago

According to the British Academy Of Film And Television Arts (via Variety), Monty Python member Terry Jones has been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia. As CNN explains, this syndrome is “often a result of strokes or head injuries and can occur in other neurological disorders, including brain tumors and Alzheimer’s disease.” BAFTA revealed Jones’ diagnosis while announcing that it would pay tribute to him during the 25th annual British Academy Cymru Awards—which specifically honor Welsh performers—on October 2.

Fellow Monty Python member Eric Idle tweeted his thanks to fans who had been offering “kind responses” regarding Jones, and has also been retweeting a lot of tributes to him over the last few days.

Thank you for all your kind responses about Terry J. Of course this has been no secret to us for some years but he did manage to make O2 ...

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- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: New law finally frees actors from the tyranny of aging

8 hours ago

People tend to get older as time passes, and it’s generally not all that bad. As you get older, you learn how to talk, how to walk, and how to drive a car, and eventually you might even get to the point where no longer have to care about anything beyond who is currently on your lawn. In Hollywood, though, aging is a little different. Being too young or too old can significantly impact your career, since there are very few prominent superhero roles (or just roles in general) for people who are outside of a certain age range. In fact, a woman sued IMDb a few years ago for revealing that she was actually older than she looked, believing (probably correctly) that it would put her career in jeopardy.

Now, though, actors and actresses no longer need to worry about people knowing how old they are, because California »

- Sam Barsanti

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Income Disposal: Coreyography and kitchen gadgets: Here’s what’s on sale on Amazon today

11 hours ago

In an effort to both serve our readers and help support The A.V. Club, we are going to post daily links to deals and interesting items that we find over on Amazon. If you use these links to click through and buy something—not just the thing you clicked—on Amazon, we will see a portion of that income. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but if you do, know that we appreciate it.

Broadchurch season one ($20.92)

Broadchurch season two ($17.99)

Broadchurch is the perfect blend of British TV drama and detective show, and if you’re at all into David Tennant, then you have to make sure to see this.

Coreyography: A Memoir ($9.99 on Kindle, $9.93 for a paperback)

Sean O’Neal mentioned this book in his piece about Corey Feldman’s Today Show appearance ...

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- Marah Eakin

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Newswire: R.I.P. Do The Right Thing and Spider-Man’s Bill Nunn

24 September 2016 2:43 PM, PDT

Variety is reporting that Bill Nunn—who played Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s pivotal 1989 drama Do The Right Thing, and editor Robbie Robertson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies—has died. A celebrated actor of television, stage, and screen, with more than 70 credits to his name, Nunn was 62.

Nunn got his start as an actor in 1988, when he played country boy Grady in Lee’s second feature, School Daze. The two would ultimately work together on four films, with Lee casting the large-framed Nunn in Mo’ Better Blues, He Got Game, and, most prominently, Do The Right Thing.

As the boombox-toting Radio Raheem, Nunn served as one of the engines of that film’s slowly building wave of tension, blasting Public Enemy and giving an impassioned speech about the war between Love and Hate. When conflict erupts over the “Wall Of Fame” in a local ...

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- William Hughes

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Newswire: Julia Roberts to play real-life PTA mom who was framed for possessing drugs

24 September 2016 12:35 PM, PDT

Variety is reporting that Julia Roberts has lined up her next big film project, Framed, playing a California school volunteer and PTA mom who was the target of a bizarre vengenace plot. Roberts will take on the role of Kelli Peters, an Irvine, CA resident whose life was briefly turned upside down after a pair of obsessed parents planted marijuana and painkillers in her car as revenge for perceived mistreatment of their child.

Peters’ story caught the national attention, up to and including an in-depth expose by The L.A. Times’ Christopher Goffard, and a book, I’ll Get You!, that’s serving as a basis for the upcoming film. Roberts—who’s also producing—most recently starred in Jodie Foster’s financial fable Money Monster, and is currently filming Wonder with Jacob Tremblay from Room.

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- William Hughes

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Income Disposal: A weird toy and a little Philly Phanatic: Here’s what’s on sale on Amazon today

24 September 2016 9:00 AM, PDT

In an effort to both serve our readers and help support The A.V. Club, we are going to post daily links to deals and interesting items that we find over on Amazon. If you use these links to click through and buy something—not just the thing you clicked—on Amazon, we will see a portion of that income. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but if you do, know that we appreciate it.

Zoomer Hedgiez interactive hedgehog ($29.99)

We have no idea what this thing is or how it works. It just looks insane and, in the commercial on Amazon, rolls around a lot while child actors giggle. If you want to know more—and who doesn’t?—you can always watch Zoomer’s explainer video on YouTube.

Schleich hippopotamus toy figure ($5.07)

And then there’s this hippo ...

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- Marah Eakin

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Newswire: Reclusive auteur Terrence Malick to make rare live appearance next month

23 September 2016 5:48 PM, PDT

Tree Of Life and Badlands director Terrence Malick is a notoriously hard man to catch in the wild: he doesn’t appear in making-of features for his own films, grant many interviews, or even allow photographs of himself to surface in the public realm. (To say nothing of his 20-year hiatus from film-making, between 1978’s Days Of Heaven and 1998’s The Thin Red Line.)

Fans of the celebrated director (and Italian cinema) might want to make their way to New Jersey next month, though: Malick has apparently been scheduled to speak at the Princteon Garden Theater, as part of a discussion on Roberto Rossellini’s 1954 masterpiece Journey To Italy. According to the theater’s web site, the October 21 showing of the film will be followed by “a live conversation with acclaimed director Terrence Malick.” Tickets don’t appear to be on sale for the event at ...

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- William Hughes

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Newswire: Universal buys memory thief movie from horror novelist Joe Hill

23 September 2016 5:11 PM, PDT

Coming Soon is reporting that Universal has scooped up a new property from up-and-coming horror author Joe Hill, co-creator of the popular Idw Publishing comic series Locke & Key. The studio has optioned Hill’s recent novella Snapshot 1988, about a 13-year-old-boy who discovers that an elderly woman he’s caring for isn’t suffering from dementia, but the attentions of a malevolent memory thief, instead. (Think Inception, maybe, but with an added depressing old-age subtext.)

Hill has been steadily attracting potential TV and film adaptations over the last few years. Locke & Key has been the subject of a number of attempts at TV adaptation, for instance, while his novel Horns was turned into a vehicle for Daniel Radcliffe in 2014. Meanwhile, AMC recently began development on a TV series based on his twisted vampire novel NOS4A2. We can only assume that this quickly accruing pile of credits will ...

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- William Hughes

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Fantastic Fest: Park Chan-wook’s terrific The Handmaiden is a great kickoff for Fantastic Fest

23 September 2016 4:01 PM, PDT

Arriving in Austin late on Wednesday, I was dropped off in the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse’s South Lamar outpost, the central locus for all things Fantastic Fest. At that point, it just looked like a regular movie theater (albeit one with The Shining-themed carpet), as a crew of festival employees with power tools and armfuls of tissue paper prepared for this year’s festival. I went off into the humid Texas night, dragging my suitcase behind me in search of the flop house booked by a group of fellow critics. (That may sound like the setup to a horror movie, but, ill-advised late-night Lone Star consumption aside, it turned out just fine.) The decorators stayed through the night, though, and when we bleary-eyed press corps returned less than 12 hours later, the theater lobby was festooned with colorful Indian-style banners in honor of this year’s theme »

- Katie Rife

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Newswire: Rhys Darby’s a little late to the game, but he’ll be in the Jumanji sequel

23 September 2016 2:02 PM, PDT

Rhys Darby is the latest actor to join Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, and Jack Black in the Jumanji jungle. According to Empire Magazine, the Flight Of The Conchords star has signed on to 2017’s Jumanji, which is a sequel to the 1995 original. Darby is reportedly playing a character called Nigel, although that’s all we know so far. Odds are that whatever sort of character he’s playing, Darby won’t be decked out in a crop top and short shorts like Gillan in the film’s first official photo.

Instagram Embed

Potentially wearing a crop top, however, is Morgan Turner, who has also joined the film. (For the record, all involved parties promise Gillan’s costuming will be explained in the film.) Turner has previously appeared alongside Kate Winslet in Mildred Pierce. So far her Jumanji role is unknown.

Both Turner ...

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- Caroline Siede

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Newswire: John Carpenter to host premiere of El Rey’s new horror showcase

23 September 2016 1:47 PM, PDT

It’s hard to think of a better host for a televised night of horror films from young and upcoming filmmakers than John Carpenter. His filmography—including classics like 1978’s Halloween and 1982’s The Thing—reads like the syllabus for a film school Suspense 101 class. So, choosing him as face for the premiere episode of El Rey’s The People’s Network Showcase: Horror Edition, as Deadline is reporting, must have been an easy decision.

“When I started El Rey I wanted the network to provide a new pipeline for creators. My roots are in independent filmmaking and I believe in providing opportunities to people working outside of the studio system,” network founder Robert Rodriguez said in a statement. “We’ve discovered these terrific short films by very talented makers and with this on-air special hosted by my friend John Carpenter, we can help get them noticed ...

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- Dennis DiClaudio

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Newswire: Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan to play unhappy couple in Wildlife

23 September 2016 1:01 PM, PDT

He’s been appearing in stage and film productions for two-thirds of his life, making his Broadway debut at 10, but at 32, actor Paul Dano (he of “I’ve abandoned my child!” fame) is taking on one of the biggest challenges of his career. He’s adapting and directing an independent drama called Wildlife, based on the 1990 novel by Mississippi-born novelist Richard Ford. The somber-sounding film, produced for rookie outfit June Pictures, marks Dano’s inaugural directing and screenwriting efforts.

Variety reports that the film is already assembling an impressive cast, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan set to star. Gyllenhaal and Dano are also serving as producers for the still unscheduled film, along with Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Riva Marker, Oren Moverman, and Ann Ruark. No other cast members have been confirmed as of this writing, and it is unclear whether Dano himself will be appearing in ...

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- Joe Blevins

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Newswire: Buzzard’s Joel Potrykus releasing his new film as a “pay what you want” download

23 September 2016 12:24 PM, PDT

Buzzard, Joel Potrykus’ idiosyncratic and darkly funny portrait of an increasingly paranoid and psychotic Midwestern slacker, established the director as a talent to watch. And in keeping with the underground ethos on display in all of Potrykus’ films, his follow-up, The Alchemist’s Cookbook, is being released as a “pay what you want” download through BitTorrent Now.

This isn’t unusual for a micro-budget indie, but the kicker here is that The Alchemist’s Cookbook isn’t self-distributed. In fact, the whole thing is being handled by Oscilloscope, the respected indie distributor co-founded by late Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys fame. While same-day releases to VOD or digital platforms like iTunes have become popular among the indie and arthouse distributors, the choice of delivery and pricing model represents a step in a different direction.

Potrykus has written about the plan in a post for Bundle.Media that addresses his own »

- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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Newswire: Daniel Radcliffe loves Stranger Things, wants to get killed on Game Of Thrones

23 September 2016 12:20 PM, PDT

When it comes to most successfully transitioning from beloved child star to beloved adult actor, Daniel Radcliffe is currently giving Neil Patrick Harris a run for his money. Sure they’re both super charming and they both have the singing-and-dancing thing down, but Radcliffe also makes appreciably weird choices in his film career, which gives him a leg up among cinephiles. And now he’s apparently trying to win over TV fans as well, by praising the internet’s two favorite shows: Stranger Things and Game Of Thrones.

Radcliffe stopped by BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show on Wednesday to promote the UK releases of both Swiss Army Man (a.k.a. his farting corpse movie) and Imperium (a.k.a. his white supremacist movie). He also mentioned that—much like everyone else in the world—he’s a big fan of Netflix’s Stranger Things. So when he found ...

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- Caroline Siede

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Newswire: Disney pulls controversial Maui costume from its Moana line

23 September 2016 11:57 AM, PDT

It’s late September, and Halloween candy has been on sale since at least July 5, so it’s time to start narrowing down your costume ideas. Even if you just limit yourself to the superhero genre, you’re still overwhelmed with options—you (or your child) could dress up as armored Batman, or Wonder Woman, or this asshole. If you’re a Disney fan, the mega-entertainment company has you covered (in man-made fibers), offering costumes to turn you into ever so many characters, including ones from its upcoming Moana film.

Disney’s boasted about the arrival of its first Polynesian princess, whose costume they managed to limit to items of clothing. But it looks the Mouse Kingdom got carried away in its efforts to transform everyday people into the demigod Maui, offering a costume comprising a brown bodysuit covered in sacred tattoos. Yes, rather than sell a grass skirt ...

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- Danette Chavez

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Watch This: A team of ghost hunters gets what it came for in this low-budget thrill ride

23 September 2016 11:00 AM, PDT

One week a month, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This week: In honor of the new sequel to the modern classic The Blair Witch Project, we look back at some of our favorite found-footage horror films.

Grave Encounters (2011)

Execution is everything in a found-footage horror movie, and execution is what makes Grave Encounters a worthy addition to the subgenre. The concept—a documentary crew enters an abandoned mental hospital in hopes of filming paranormal activity, only to get way more than they expected—goes beyond typical into the realm of cliché. The film opens with the same shots of the crew joking around and testing out their equipment you see in all found-footage horror movies, and the institution itself is so outrageously, exaggeratedly creepy—we’re talking bloody bathtubs and walls covered in the apocalyptic scrawlings of mental patients—that ...

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- Katie Rife

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Popcorn Politics: Terminator 2 took aim at the ethics of artificial intelligence

23 September 2016 9:59 AM, PDT

James Cameron’s seminal summer blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day turned 25 earlier this year. But in the big technological questions it raises, the film remains almost frighteningly relevant. This episode of Popcorn Politics, The A.V. Club’s collaboration with Scrappers Film Group, explores what T2 had to say about the ethics, dangers, and possible future of artificial intelligence—and how those issues continue to inspire debate in the scientific community. »

- A.A. Dowd

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Newswire: Updated: Fighting robots good excuse to drape Churchill birthplace in swastikas, thinks Michael Bay

23 September 2016 9:28 AM, PDT

Leave it to Michael Bay to potentially anger the ghost of Winston Churchill. The director—or at least his latest Transformers movie—has stirred the wrath of veterans in the U.K. for hanging giant swastikas from the former prime minister’s birthplace, according to The Sun. The upcoming installment in the Autobot franchise, The Last Knight, has reportedly let Nazis take over Blenheim Palace, the spot where the man who led Britain during WWII came into this world. The Sun has spotted the aforementioned banners as well as actors costumed as SS officers and other Third Reich paraphernalia.

Understandably, people aren’t happy. “I know it’s a film, but it’s symbolically disrespectful to Churchill,” one Colonel Richard Kemp told The Sun. “He will be turning in his grave.” Kemp commanded British forces in Afghanistan.

The plot of the film has remained shrouded in secrecy, though it has »

- Esther Zuckerman

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