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HBO’s Documentary About Domestic Violence Is Difficult to Experience, Essential to Watch

1 hour ago

It took longer for me to get through Private Violence, a feature-length profile of an advocate for battered women that airs on HBO tonight at 9 p.m., than any TV documentary I've seen. The filmmakers should consider this a compliment. I kept starting the damned thing and then stopping it after ten minutes, then watching it another ten minutes, then stopping, always to collect myself, or steel myself. If I'd seen it in a theater I might have left for a while, or watched certain scenes through splayed fingers. Anybody who's experienced the situations chronicled in this film will understand why: Domestic violence is a door marked "Do Not Open," and here is Private Violence, opening it, and saying, "Step inside, have a look." Directed by Cynthia Hill, Private Violence chronicles the life and work of Kit Gruelle, a North Carolina woman who escaped an abusive relationship and became a »


- Matt Zoller Seitz

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Hear Taylor Swift’s ‘Welcome to New York’ [Updated]

2 hours ago

More of what's to come from the new Taylor Swift album, 1989, a track called "Welcome to New York," clearly inspired by Swift's own experience moving to New York. (Well, at least, her experience of buying a penthouse apartment in New York.) It certainly captures a bit of that big=city wonderment, doesn't it? I guess someone already found her way out of the woods (and into Times Square).And here's the full track. Get it while it lasts! »


- Lindsey Weber

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Bethenny Frankel Returning to The Real Housewives of New York

2 hours ago

Bethenny Frankel will return to The Real Housewives of New York City when the show comes back for its seventh season, Bravo announced today. (No word on when, exactly, the season will start, but probably around February or March, if history is any indicator.) Frankel was an original cast member and lasted for the show's first three seasons, eventually developing enough reality-tv momentum to tour as a solo act; she had two other Bravo shows, a short-lived daytime talk show, and a permanent spot in the tabloids chronicling her business ventures and ongoing divorce. Perhaps you can go home again, Bethenny. But will the other Real Housewives have changed the locks? »


- Margaret Lyons

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Julian Casablancas Clarifies Stance on Brunch

2 hours ago

The Brunch Wars finally have their own (Eggs) Benedict Arnold: After igniting a media firestorm with his controversial remarks on the weekend meal, Julian Casablancas now says brunch is fine after all. Back in September, Casablancas told GQ the he left New York because he didn't like how many more "white people having brunch" he could stand to look at, and like a modern-day Gavrilo Princip, Casablancas's lone shot soon sparked a larger conflict. Brunchers of all races took up barricades on Twitter, while the New York Times unveiled a full op-ed assault upon the meal. Now Casablancas himself has turned to Twitter to play peacemaker:Casablancas also sort of disputed, sort of endorsed those claims that the Strokes never got along: Casablancas has not yet apologized for calling his GQ interviewer "bogus," a charge unlikely to result in any Nyt editorials. »


- Nate Jones

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The Edward Snowden Documentary Citizenfour Puts You Right in the Room As History Is Made

2 hours ago

If you didn’t know better, you’d think that Laura Poitras’s "Meet Edward Snowden" documentary Citizenfour was an avant-garde paranoid conspiracy thriller. Hold on, it is an avant-garde paranoid conspiracy thriller. It opens with a blurry tunnel; winking monitors scrolling metadata plucked from Americans’ emails; images of huge, futuristic, otherworldy government surveillance centers; encrypted communications — flurries of characters — that resolve into edgy cyberdialogues between the National Security Agency whistleblower and the filmmaker; and, finally, exacting exchanges between Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald high up in a blankly modern Hong Kong hotel, which might or might not be bugged. The music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is like malignantly buzzing wires that eat into your cerebral cortex.The narrative is relatively straightforward. Poitras explains in voice-over that in the summer of 2013, she received a communiqué from a man calling himself “Citizenfour,” who also asked her to alert Greenwald »


- David Edelstein

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Key and Peele Are Finally Making a Movie

3 hours ago

Deadline reports Key and Peele are finally making a movie. No, it's not the Judd Apatow–produced one we told you about or their Police Academy reboot; it's called Keanu. Key and Peele play friends who pretend to be drug dealers to get back a stolen cat (the cat is named Keanu). Jordan Peele wrote the script with Community writer Alex Rubens, and Key & Peele director Peter Atencio is in talks to direct. The film is scheduled to shoot by April. No word on a projected release date. Also, no word if the villain will be played by Jaleel White Urkel. »


- Jesse David Fox

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9 Long Movie Tracking Shots

3 hours ago

Through long takes and immersive tracking shots, films and TV shows like Goodfellas, Boogie Nights, and True Detective have given viewers the impression that they're watching drama as it unfolds in real time. Birdman continues in this tradition, immersing viewers in the tortured headspace of Michael Keaton's emotionally disturbed, has-been actor through one seemingly uncut two-hour shot. It’s the latest triumph for cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who pulled off last year’s 12-minute opening shot in Gravity and several memorable long takes in Children of Men. But Birdman’s Alejandro González Iñárritu isn’t the first filmmaker to attempt a feature-length tracking shot/long take, nor is he the first director to include several invisible cuts that divide his film's action into multiple smaller takes. Here are nine other very long movie shots.9. The Passenger (6:31)The second-to-last scene in The Passenger perfectly encapsulates why it's somehow even more »


- Simon Abrams

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Jessie Ware on Her New Album, Wedding Songs, and Sexy-Talking With Miguel

3 hours ago

Jessie Ware's 2012 debut record Devotion was a wonderful, romantic, smooth as hell R&B album; her follow-up, Tough Love, is packed with just as many lovely, dynamic, powerful, restrained, beautiful songs. To put it simply: We are hooked. Vulture spoke to Jessie Ware about the record, working with Miguel, Ed Sheeran, and BenZel, sexy-talking breakdowns, channeling Beyoncé, and how pork buns influence her.How was your wedding?It was wonderful, thank you. It was gorgeous. We really had the best day. It was perfect. What song did you have your first dance to? It was Wayne Wonder, “No Letting Go.” Do you know that song? I probably would if I heard it, but not by name. You know it. When you look it up you'll be like, “Huh?” Basically, we didn’t pick that song. It picked us, shall we say. Why is that? We’ve been together since »


- Jesse David Fox

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The Game of Thrones Costume Department Is Trolling George R.R. Martin

4 hours ago

There's an apocryphal story in Game of Thrones fandom that goes like this: Around 1997, author George R.R. Martin saw Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, and, like many other people, hated it. Martin's ire was particularly drawn to George Clooney's infamous bat-nipples, and he began looking for a way to get literary revenge. Whether or not the story is true, this much is fact: Starting with 1998's A Clash of Kings, the author introduced a new phrase to the Westerosi lexicon: "as useless as nipples on a breastplate." So far in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, Martin has used the expression to describe everything from dragonglass knives to Grand Maester Pycelle. It's clear: Despite how much Grrm loves nipples in other contexts, he really does not like them on breastplates.Which is why it's so funny to see what sort of costumes the show's new Sand Snakes will »


- Nate Jones

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You’ll Be Able to Stream Every Simpsons Episode Ever Starting Tomorrow

5 hours ago

Commence cow-having: Simpsons World, the app/website/legal drug offering access to every episode of The Simpsons, will finally launch Tuesday. It’ll be available via website (SimpsonsWorld.com), the FXNow iOS and Android apps, Xbox, Apple TV, and Samsung Smart TVs. (If you need a guide as to which episodes to watch, we've compiled the 100 best for you right here.) And in addition to letting you watch any episode you want (with commercials, Fyi), FX promises these features at launch, per a release announcing the unveiling:   “Everything Simpsons,” a dynamic newsfeed showcasing the latest Simpsons news, social media updates, “Did You Know” fun facts, featured episode playlists, and clips. “The Simpsons Heartbeat,” which organizes the complete catalogue of episodes by popularity. A premium video player that will provide recommendations to other clips and episodes users would enjoy as well as the ability for users to share content on their social networks. »

- Josef Adalian

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Here’s Our First Look at Disney’s Polynesian Princess Movie, Moana

5 hours ago

Before today, observers knew only two things about Disney's upcoming Moana. One, that it would be about the adventures of a Polynesian princess sailing the Pacific; and two, that it wasn't coming out until 2018. Turns out only one of those things was correct! While sharing the first official image of Moana, who's only the fifth Disney princess not to be a white girl, the studio also announced the film was coming in 2016, much earlier than expected. You have two years to bone up on your navigational knowledge. (It's okay if you just play The Wind Waker.) »

- Nate Jones

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American Horror Story Creators to Do 2015 Horror-Comedy Anthology Titled Scream Queens

5 hours ago

Glee will soon be gone, but Fox won’t be without a Ryan Murphy show next season: The network has green-lit production on Scream Queens, an American Horror Story–like anthology series that will mash up comedy and horror into 15 hour-long episodes. Each season will feature different settings and story lines, along with two female leads. (Not clear: whether the female stars will recur each season.) Murphy and co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan have already started writing the show, with production slated to begin in the spring for a fall 2015 debut. “We are having a blast writing Scream Queens,” Murphy said. “We hope to create a whole new genre — comedy-horror — and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads. We’ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as 10 other supporting roles.” Murphy and Co. have become the masters of »


- Josef Adalian

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Ryan Phillippe on His Own Movies: ‘5 of Them Are Good’

6 hours ago

The L.A. Times profiled Ryan Phillippe, with the actor's directorial debut Catch Hell out in theaters and VOD. Why did he write and direct a movie for himself? Self-awareness. “I’ve made 30-plus films over 20 years,” he told the reporter. “And in my opinion, five of them are good." He doesn't name which five. Is he including Crash? Does Cruel Intentions lose or gain points because of Reese Witherspoon? He's probably including Gosford Park, because he got to work with Robert Altman, and MacGruber, because he got to put celery in his butt. But that's only four. Which is the fifth? »


- Jesse David Fox

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An Expert Explains Why You’re Scared of Creepy Clowns and Other Horror Tropes

6 hours ago

Horror is a genre that constantly reinvents itself, yet certain tropes have remained in place for decades. The demon-possessed doll in The Conjuring and its prequel  Annabelle is part of a pantheon of scary dolls that includes Chucky from Child’s Play (1988), Talky Tina from The Twilight Zone (1963), and Hugo the ventriloquist’s dummy in Dead of Night (1945). The freaky masks worn by killers in The Purge and You’re Next have their origins in classic Universal horror villains like The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and The Invisible Man (1933). Then there’s a long tradition of scary clowns — that's Pennywise from It pictured above. So why is it that these images are just as frightening now as they were to our great-grandparents?Clearly, there’s some deep psychology at work here. Vulture called up Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and fright-film fan Steven Schlozman — who teaches an undergraduate course on the »


- Gwynne Watkins

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The Simpsons’ Stanley Kubrick Tribute Was the Best ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Parody in Years

7 hours ago

Twenty years ago (wow!), The Simpsons aired what is arguably the best Treehouse of Horror episode ever, "Treehouse of Horror V," which featured the show's parody of The Shining. Last night, on this year's installment, the show went back to the Stanley Kubrick well hard. It centered on a Clockwork Orange parody, which means you finally get to hear Moe talk in Nadsat, but along the way, the show nails a bunch of other Kubrick films — Full Metal Jacket, 2001, Eyes Wide Shut, and even Barry Lyndon ("Even I forget what this is in reference to") — before giving us a yellow version of the director himself. Watch a short clip below. Or if you have Hulu Plus, you can watch the full episode there, Uncle Moneybags. »


- Jesse David Fox

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Lynda Carter on What She Wants From the New Wonder Woman

7 hours ago

Everyone is amped about the fact that a stand-alone Wonder Woman movie will finally hit theaters. Vulture caught up with original Ww Lynda Carter at Thursday night’s God's Love We Deliver 2014 Golden Heart Awards at 50 Varick Street, where Carter shared her true feelings about the character that made her a star."Wonder Woman is about a lot more than just superhero stuff. She’s complicated," Carter said. "Ultimately, she’s about truth, and it’s all heart with her. She’s a strong female force." As for why it’s taken so long for this heroine to get her own film, especially when other superheroes have cycled through multiple sagas (hello, Batman, Spider-Man …), Carter has a theory: "I think females baffle men, and so, that’s made it difficult to get a Wonder Woman movie made. She’s strong, but she’s so much more — not everybody gets that ... Most important, »


- Jamie Sharpe

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Billy Joel Is Working on New Music About the History of Long Island

7 hours ago

Buried deep in The New Yorker's 10,000-word profile of Billy Joel — after all the tales of ex-wives, helicopter rides and drinking (perhaps to excess) — comes this small piece of news: Despite not putting out any new music since 2001 and publicly proclaiming that he never would again, Joel is in fact working on new songs. They're called "The Scrimshaw Pieces," and right now they only exist as a series of "tone poems" inside his head. Here's writer Nick Paumgarten observing him at work: In between pieces, he began to explain that these were variations on a motif and that they were telling the story of the history of Long Island, from its pastoral beginnings to the arrival of the Europeans — "I’m imagining the prow of a ship, and a Puritan hymn" — and then the bustle of the nineteenth century. Farming, fishing, the railroad. "Getting busy on Long Island," »


- Nate Jones

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Pippin Will Sing Again, This Time Over the End Credits of the Final Hobbit Movie

8 hours ago

Remember how much you liked it when Pippin sang in Return of the King? That can't even compare to how much Peter Jackson liked it. First the director used Rotk's "Edge of Night" in the teaser trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and now he's brought back actor Billy Boyd to sing a new song, "The Last Goodbye," over the end credits of the final Hobbit movie. Boyd apparently wrote the song alongside Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, which means the road to Billy Boyd, Egot winner, begins today. »


- Nate Jones

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Homeland Recap: The Spy Who Loved Me

8 hours ago

We probably should've seen that coming, right? Homeland wouldn't just introduce an attractive teenage boy and not have him be seduced by Carrie Mathison. The moment Carrie first spotted Aayan on that satellite camera surveying the corpses of his murdered family more or less started a countdown clock to when Carrie would be mouth-attacking him, and this week, that countdown hit zero. At this point, Carrie might not even be capable of sexual intimacy if it's not either self-destructive or necessary for a mission, but her seduction of Aayan is right up there with her stalking of Brody when it comes to over-the-top bad ideas to which Carrie has no qualms resorting. At its best, Homeland engages in what amounts to a game of chicken with audience sympathies. We know we want to see Carrie behave terribly in the name of righteous justice, but it's at the constant risk of »

- Price Peterson

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A My Little Pony Movie Is Really Happening

8 hours ago

Variety reports Hasbro Studios is moving forward with a My Little Pony movie. The film, which will be written by Joe Ballarini (Ice Age: Continental Drift), is scheduled for a 2017 release. As toys, My Little Ponies were first introduced in 1983. Since, they've gone through many incarnations on TV and direct-to-video movies; most recently, they can be seen in the very popular My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic series. Though 2013's My Little Pony: Equestria Girls and 2014's Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks had very limited theatrical runs, this upcoming feature would be the franchise's first wide release. So if you see a bearded man crying while wearing a colorful wig with a horn sticking out of it, you'll know. »


- Jesse David Fox

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