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Saturday Night Live Recap: North Korea Let Amy Adams Host The Show Again

37 minutes ago

I've always known that one day President Barack Obama would hold a press conference expressing support for Seth Rogen, and that day has come. (Believe me, I'm now looking over everything else I predicted about the future during Freaks and Geeks' initial run, and yeah, Limp Bizkit may soon wear out its welcome.) In the meantime, it seems that everyone even tangentially involved in the entertainment industry has been rattled by Sony's hacking scandal and every juicy tidbit it has revealed — not to mention the disappearing act the company pulled on Rogen's film, The Interview. It's a weird time to be in show business, and the current trauma definitely loomed large over this entire episode of SNL. However, despite some clear fatigue, the team managed to pull together a Christmas episode safe enough to watch with one's parents, but also capable of drawing Kim Jong-Un's ire.A Message From Dr. »


- Joe Berkowitz

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Friends Countdown: Phoebe Buffay Is Friends’ Worst Liar

1 hour ago

Halfway through the first season of Friends, Phoebe shares with Rachel three cardinal facts about herself: “One,” she starts, “my friends are the most important thing in my life. Two, I never lie, and three, I make the best oatmeal raisin cookies in the world.” Three bold statements, but one totally boldfaced lie. Because over ten seasons of Friends, Phoebe lies and lies and lies and lies — both straight out and she lies by omission. Does anyone lie to their BFFs as much as Phoebe does? Here is our list of offenses. Phoebe is the worst passive-aggressive roommate. In "The One With the Flashbacks" it's revealed that while Phoebe and Monica were living together, Monica became such a difficult roommate that Phoebe was forced to move out on the down low — i.e., she left at night and returned in the morning, moving out her furniture piece by piece »

- Katy Schneider

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Elton John and David Furnish Get Married

1 hour ago

Longtime partners Elton John and David Furnish have tied the knot. They got a civil partnership back in 2005, and when England changed the law in March to allow gay couples to wed, they said they would do so. "For this legislation to come through is joyous, and we should celebrate it," John told BBC News. "We shouldn't just say, 'Oh, well we have a civil partnership. We're not going to bother to get married'. We will get married." And get married they did! The couple made it official at their Windsor estate in Berkshire on Sunday with a number of celebrities in attendance including Victoria and David Beckham, Ed Sheeran, and David Walliams. Their sons, Zachary and David were there, and yes, so too was Instagram. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Despite This Season’s Oscar Bait, Biopics Were Reinvigorated in 2014

5 hours ago

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, the 2007 spoof starring John C. Reilly as a Johnny Cash–like singer, so aptly skewered the biopic’s dreary formulas that it exposed the absurd phoniness of the entire genre and its lazy conventions. It didn’t, however, stop biopics from continuing to proliferate — and from maintaining adherence to standard-issue clichés, as evidenced by two of this year’s Oscar front-runners, The Imitation Game (about code-breaker Alan Turing) and The Theory of Everything (about scientist Stephen Hawking). Both of those character studies go out of their way to maintain the mold set by their predecessors, taking a safe, superficial approach to their subjects and, in the process, delivering portraits of brave, intellectual men that are, themselves, timid and simplistic. Their shared failure stems from a fear of showing life, and people, as they really are — and from a concurrent belief that telling a story »


- Nick Schager

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Stephen Collins Tells Katie Couric He Was Sexually Harassed When He Was Young

17 hours ago

After publicly confessing to sexually abusing children earlier this week, former 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins sat down with Katie Couric on 20/20 and told her that he had been sexually harassed by an older woman when he was an adolescent. Collins said that the woman had exposed herself to him "quite a few times" when he was between the ages of 10 and 15. "I think that that distorted my reception in such a way," Collins said. "It was a very intense experience, but I think somewhere in my brain, I got the equation of, well, this isn't so terrible." He says he doesn't blame her for his behavior, though. "It's not why I did it. I'm not blaming her," he said. "That's an aspect that went into my own distorted thinking as a young man." »


- E. Alex Jung

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Hackers Threaten to Release Iggy Azalea Sex Tape

19 hours ago

So this Iggy AzaleaAzealia Banks beef is spinning out of control. Hackers posting under the Twitter handle @TheAnonMessage jumped into the fray Friday night, threatening to release still images from an alleged sex tape of Iggy Azalea unless she publicly apologizes to Azealia Banks and the protesters of the #blacklivesmatter movement. The account posted a string of tweets last night saying they would bring Iggy Azalea down further than Bill Cosby, calling her a " trashy bitch" and promising "a life of suffering" unless she complies with their demands.  »


- E. Alex Jung

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After a Decade, Craig Ferguson Says Farewell to The Late Late Show

19 hours ago

After another very high-profile farewell this week, Craig Ferguson, the host of The Late Late Show, made a quieter adieu. Ferguson called it quits when he found out he wasn't going to succeed David Letterman at The Late Show. As expected, his good-bye was modest and charming. "You came to a show that was a bit of a fixer-upper, and it kind of stayed that way," he said during his opening monologue. "But what I think we managed to do here was make something that wasn't here before."He also had a little song-and-dance number complete with drumming from his celebrity friends to cap it all off. Farewell, Craig. We wish you well. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Watch Nicki Minaj’s 3-Act Pinkprint Movie

22 hours ago

Nicki Minaj's latest album, The Pinkprint (which our critic Lindsay Zoladz called a "badass breakup album"), got a visual accompaniment yesterday: three music videos staged in three acts, starting with "The Crying Game," "I Lied," and ending with "Grand Piano." As you might expect, it's her most emo moment yet: a little bit Matthew McConaughey in the Lincoln ads, a little bit Enya in the rain, and all Nicki Minaj. If you have a spare 16 minutes or need to wind down before you go to bed on a Saturday night, here you go. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep Is Lovely, Perplexing, and Well Worth Your Time

22 hours ago

Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Distant in 2003 was the first film I’d ever seen that depicted characters who actually sounded like the Turks I knew — in all our halting inexpressiveness, our occasional bursts of eloquence, our maddening, passive-aggressive judgmentalism. It felt like a revelation. It was also a remarkable turn-around from Ceylan’s first film, 1998’s The Small Town, an extremely low-budget and ultimately abortive attempt at chatty, Chekhovian languor. Over the years, I’ve continued to marvel at Ceylan’s work: He’s managed to maintain his somber, highly aestheticized yet observational style, even as he’s told more and more complex tales and ventured further into the realm of myth. His 2011 film, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, feels more monumental with each passing day.I provide all this prologue because Ceylan’s Winter Sleep, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes earlier this year and is »


- Bilge Ebiri

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17 Things You Should Know About Cannes Top-Prize Winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan

22 hours ago

This article was originally published on May 25, 2014. The Turkish film Winter Sleep (or, in Turkish, Kış Uykusu, which technically means “hibernation”) won the Palme d’Or at Cannes yesterday. It was a major victory for its writer-director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who has been winning all the other awards at Cannes for some years now. Unfortunately, many in the U.S. — even among cinephiles — are unfamiliar with his work. Since I have been (for perhaps obvious reasons) obsessively following his career for well over a decade, here are some things you may want to know about this year’s winning director. 1. His name is pronounced “Noo-rih” “Bil-geh” “Jay-lahn.” (The letter “C” in Turkish is pronounced like a “J” — never an “S” or a “K” — and the letter “G” is always a hard “G.”) 2. His last five features have all screened in competition at Cannes — and »


- Bilge Ebiri

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Madonna Dropped 6 Songs From Her Upcoming Album

23 hours ago

Madonna pulled a half-Beyoncé Friday, releasing six songs from her upcoming Rebel Heart. We say half because it doesn't seem intentional: Following the leak of her album last week, she decided to release half a dozen songs on iTunes. "I was hoping to release my new single 'Living For Love' on Valentine's Day," she said on her website. "I would prefer my fans to hear completed versions of some of the songs instead of the incomplete tracks that are circulating. Please consider these six songs as an early Christmas gift." The tracks released include "Bitch, I'm Madonna" with Nicki Minaj, and the lead single "Living for Love," which you can listen to below. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Get All Your Christmas Shopping Done at Cher’s Holiday Store

20 December 2014 10:10 AM, PST

If you're searching for a white elephant present (or just a regular one), we have the solution: The Cher holiday store is now open, complete with Cher-themed sweatshirts, mugs, hoodies, and tree ornaments. There's a T-shirt of Cher riding a candy cane like a witch in Hocus Pocus ($25). There's blonde Cher in a Santa costume on a mug ($20). There's a Cher ugly holiday sweatshirt ($55). The greatest tragedy may just be that the sweatshirts only come in women's sizes, so men will just have to approximate.Merry Christmas! »

- E. Alex Jung

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Friends Countdown: The One With All the Different Languages

20 December 2014 9:00 AM, PST

When Friends leaves the comfort of our U.S. airwaves, the resulting dubs can become pretty surreal, especially for the forever-quoting superfans. What does French Ross sound like? How about Japanese Phoebe? Or German Chandler? Can their jokes make it across the international chasm? Remember Joey’s failed attempts to speak French? Seems like (in France) he finally got the hang of it — with the added plus of a high vocal range. French Joey is pretty good, too: "Toi? ... et toi?"  If you ever wanted to see a young Dr. House (Hugh Laurie) speaking Japanese with Rachel, you’re in luck. Weirdly, the dub makes him seem even more growly than the original.  Chandler en Español kind of gets away with kissing Phoebe and Rachel after accidentally kissing Monica on the lips in front of them?  Rachel’s 30th-birthday party is even more dramatic in Italian. And the way she rolls the R in Ross! »


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Chris Rock Interrupts Ben Stiller's Interview as Hashtag the Panda

20 December 2014 8:53 AM, PST

The greatest press tour of the year continued last night as Chris Rock made an appearance as Hashtag the Panda The Tonight Show. Rock was edging in on Jimmy Fallon's sit-down with Ben Stiller (the last Hashtag), who was there to promote Night at the Museum 3. He has a movie to promote too! There's an added layer of humor too because in Top Five, Chris Rock's character Andre Allen is best known for playing a guy in a bear costume, Hammy the Bear. We've got to hand it to him, Chris Rock makes a great Hashtag the Panda, too. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Darlene Love Sings 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' For the Last Time on Letterman

20 December 2014 7:38 AM, PST

It has been a year for tearful farewells: Friday night, Darlene Love sang David Letterman's favorite Christmas song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" for the 22nd and final time on The Late Show. (Watch a supercut of all her previous visits here.) The 73-year-old singer first recorded the song back in 1963 for Phil Spector's Christmas album, and has warmed our holiday spirits on Letterman since. "I said I would never sing it again on another show," she said to Letterman before her piano-topping performance. "This is where it will end." »


- E. Alex Jung

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Farewell, Seen!

19 December 2014 5:42 PM, PST

And … good night! This is, sad to say, the very last post of Seen, the limited-run art site we launched November 17, with Jerry Saltz’s essay on the art world’s new conservatism. It closes today with his conversation with Matthew Weinstein about “Gaga’s law” and how art culture has eaten pop culture (which Lady Gaga actually retweeted — approvingly!). Along the way, we had a total blast, and before we turn the lights off for good, we thought we’d highlight a bunch of our favorite stuff from our 33 days in the art world ... There were fantastic slideshows of art, from a show curated by Eric Fischl about America’s doll obsession to Todd Oldham’s outsider art collection to Oliver Wasow's found-object art of people standing next to televisions. And even a slideshow of tattoos of art. We had fantastic video, including an exclusive clip Kara Walker secretly »


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Quiz: Which of These Works of Art Is Worth More?

19 December 2014 5:06 PM, PST

Over the past five years, the market for contemporary art has ballooned. Whether the reason is supply or shifting taste (or, more likely, a combination of both), we live in a world where you can buy an entire Old Master paintings sale at Sotheby’s for less than the cost of one Jeff Koons balloon dog. Of course, there are outliers: Exceptional objects in categories as unsexy as carpets can still fetch eye-popping sums. And price is not always equivalent to cultural value. Major 20th-century works by African-American and women artists, for example, rarely surpass lesser works by their white, male contemporaries. On the heels of the record-shattering postwar- and contemporary-art auctions in New York last month, can you guess which works sold (over the last five years) for the highest price? »


- Julia Halperin

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How to Live Like Architect Charles Renfro

19 December 2014 3:31 PM, PST

"Damien Hirst is in a drawer somewhere, is that horrible?” Charles Renfro asks rhetorically when I meet him in the apartment he shares with concert pianist Daniel Gortler in the garment district. The apartment isn't huge — he also owns a modernist bungalow on Fire Island — and its walls are lined with mostly emerging artists. This Hirst is tucked away because “It’s a spin piece and I never knew how to frame it, ever. It’s a very small one, and I just never did it, so I have it sitting in a drawer; it makes the drawer really, hot.” Renfro joined the husband-and-wife team of Elizabeth Diller  and Ric Scofidio in 1997, when they were themselves working out of their apartment and known for their innovative conceptual thinking. But they hadn't built much: All that was starting to change by the time he became a partner in 2004. Since then, Diller »


- Wendy Goodman

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How Don and Mera Rubell Shaped the Careers of These 8 Artists

19 December 2014 2:58 PM, PST

The Rubell Family Collection celebrated its 20th anniversary last month, in a former DEA warehouse adjacent to Miami's Wynwood neighborhood. It was also the 50th anniversary of the Rubells themselves, Donald and Mera, who have been collecting (and bickering insightfully about it) throughout their marriage. To celebrate, the Rubells staged an exhibition, "To Have and To Hold," which opened during Art Basel Miami Beach and gave a retrospective look at their collection and how it’s been built over the years: The couple tends to find an artist early, get to know them, and then support them like surrogate genius-children — Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, among many others. Often they buy a large body of their work at this unknown stage of their career on the installment plan. In addition to the show, they also published a book, which includes a number of testimonials, written by those now-accomplished and well-known artists, »


- Carl Swanson

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Sony Execs Really Wish Obama Wouldn’t Have Called Them Out Like That

19 December 2014 2:29 PM, PST

At a press conference this afternoon, President Obama said that Sony's decision to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview was "a mistake." Now Sony executives are scrambling to point out, if there was a mistake — and they're not saying there was one — it was totally the theater chains' fault, since they scrapped the movie first. As Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton told Fareed Zakaria, "We do not own movie theaters. We cannot determine whether a movie will be played in movie theaters." (Hollywood studios have been forbidden from owning theater chains since 1948.) Lynton added that he was "disappointed" by the president calling Sony out, saying "I don't think he understands the sequence of events." The interview was accompanied by a statement from Sony saying the studio was exploring alternative release avenues for the film: "It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this »


- Nate Jones

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