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Best-Selling Author Jean Stein Dead at 83

Best-Selling Author Jean Stein Dead at 83
Author Jean Stein died Sunday in New York City. She was 83.

Police say the best-selling author apparently jumped from the penthouse floor of a building in the Upper East Side area of Manhattan on Sunday, according to the Associated Press. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anderson Cooper’s brother Carter died by jumping off the balcony of his mother Gloria Vanderbilt’s apartment in the same building in 1988.

Stein was a former editor at the Paris Review. In 2016, Stein released “West of Eden: An American Place,” about Los Angeles and the Hollywood elite.

In 1970, she and editor George Plimpton
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Criterion Reflections – Beyond the Law (1968) – Es 35

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

In posting this review, I might be giving more time and thought to the merits of Beyond The Law, Norman Mailer’s second venture in pursuit of auteurist credibility, than went into the film’s original conception and construction. As the middle installment of three films that Mailer churned out in a brief dabble as a director, we have a companion piece, maybe even an evil twin, to his first effort Wild 90. That film, released in early 1967, records the imaginary, sloppily performed interplay of three seriously drunk gangsters evading the cops as they’re holed up in a dingy Brooklyn apartment. A few months later, over two nights in October ’67, Mailer and the same pals he recruited for Wild 90 (Buzz Farber and Mickey Knox) show up again for another foray into experiential improv performance art, this time as
See full article at CriterionCast »

Remembering Hunter S. Thompson's Fear & Loathing at the Kentucky Derby

Remembering Hunter S. Thompson's Fear & Loathing at the Kentucky Derby
Forty-six years on, few people remember (or even care) that the 1970 Kentucky Derby was won by a horse called Dust Commander. And yet, the legacy of that particular race continues to loom large — not because of what happened at Churchill Downs, but because Hunter S. Thompson was there to write about it.

"The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved," Thompson's account of the race for Scanlan's Monthly, is the subject of Gonzo @ the Derby, a highly entertaining new entry in Espn's 30 For 30 Shorts series. (You can view the film here.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Louis Theroux webchat – your questions answered on Jimmy Savile, Islam and Scientology

The TV documentarist answered your questions, from his regrets about not exposing Jimmy Savile to vomiting and falling asleep during interviews. Catch up with his answers here

1.35pm BST

Many thanks to Louis for his time and his answers, and to everyone who submitted questions. Until next time!

Thank you for your great questions. On Sunday night at 9 o'clock on BBC2 we have a show called A Different Brain about brain injury - please tune in. And Drinking To Oblivion is still available on iPlayer.

1.34pm BST

n1ckww4 asks:

Who would be your Anne Widdicombe for this age Louis, someone unlikely you would like to follow around where others would fear to tread?

I have to say Trump, but he'd never agree. I think Lisa Marie Presley would be fascinating - I don't know about following her around, but the way she touches on different interests of mine, being married to Michael Jackson,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Review: Viceland Feels Like Current TV on Steroids

Review: Viceland Feels Like Current TV on Steroids
Vice has demonstrated its marketing savvy on multiple fronts, with a young-skewing profile that’s become the envy of the media ecosystem. Yet its attempt to launch a linear cable channel, Viceland, on the A&E Network formerly known as H2, feels like an overreach, with an initial lineup of programming that best resembles Current TV on steroids. Determined to look edgy, the network possesses plenty of attitude, but seems so devoted to branding as to be relatively short on substance.

Viceland seeks to announce its renegade credentials in everything from hyperbolic press materials to the very titles for this first batch of series, an evenly split mix of half-hours and hours seemingly intended to bedevil copy editors with names like “Balls Deep,” “F*ck, That’s Delicious,” “Weediquette” and “Gaycation.”

As with Vice’s HBO documentaries, there’s a jittery look here that’s intended to be visually kinetic,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Ken Burns’ The Civil War

Ken Burns and Co. made a big splash with this historical docu miniseries that in 1990 gripped the imagination of the whole country. Eleven hours of history are a breeze when presented in what was then a new form: authentic photos and paintings accompanied by actorly recitals of letters and documents from the era. It all comes to life. The people enduring the War Between the States seem just like us, as if it all happened yesterday. The Civil War DVD PBS Video 1990 / Color + B&W / 1:33 flat / 11 hours, 20 min. / 25th Anniversary Edition / Street Date October 13, 2015 / 99.99 Starring Shelby Foote, Ed Bearss, Barbara Fields, James Symington, Stephen B. Oates, William Safire, Daisy Turner and the voices of Sam Waterston, Julie Harris, Jason Robards, Morgan Freeman, Paul Roebling, Garrison Keillor, David McCullough (narrator), Arthur Miller, Charles McDowell, Horton Foote, George Plimpton, Philip Bosco, Jody Powell, Studs Terkel, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

TV Review: ‘Ferrell Takes the Field’

TV Review: ‘Ferrell Takes the Field’
Will Ferrell seems mired in a bit of a rut, with a career that of late has been more performance art than anything else, from the deadly earnest Lifetime movie “A Deadly Adoption” to his wraparounds for IFC’s two satirical “The Spoils … ” miniseries to this latest HBO special, “Ferrell Takes the Field.” While this latest is, at least, for a good cause, it’s an awfully thin construct, one that was probably a lot more fun if you happened to attend one of the five spring training games in which the comic competed, all to raise money for charity.

The backstory, frankly, is much better than the special, and one wishes more of it had found a way into this 49-minute project: Craig Pollard, a USC fraternity brother of Ferrell’s, had his baseball career cut short by cancer. As a result, Pollard founded Cancer for College, to help
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Love at first sight: ‘Unravel’ and ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’

Let’s admit that as gamers we’re all a bit superficial. I mean, nothing attracts the attention of the gaming world like some good old-fashioned eye candy, right? Visuals seem to be the main focus of every single console generation, dating all the way back to George Plimpton touting the Intellivision’s “realistic” graphical superiority in baseball or golf over Atari’s 2600, and with this year’s E3, things are no different. With the big Aaa releases like Fallout 4 or Uncharted 4, gamers are of course looking to be wowed, but even smaller releases like Cuphead can garner their share of attention by doing something aesthetically different. Strangely enough, two side-scrollers decided to incorporate a similar tactile motif, and while the results will undoubtedly be much different experiences, by fashioning characters and worlds made of soft, fuzzy yarn, both Unravel and Yoshi’s Woolly World have already turned heads and
See full article at SoundOnSight »

TV Review: ‘Conan in Cuba’

TV Review: ‘Conan in Cuba’
While some latenight hosts are gone but not forgotten, at times it seems as if Conan O’Brien is forgotten, but not gone – having settled into a comfortable but relatively low-profile niche on TBS. So if nothing else “Conan in Cuba,” his contribution to diplomatic relations, provided a reminder of the inventiveness O’Brien brings to the party, while generally reinforcing the narrowness of that appeal. Perhaps foremost, using all the footage in one super-sized episode felt like too much of a good thing, and the stunt would have benefited from slicing, dicing and spreading the highlights over multiple nights.

O’Brien provided a brief history of U.S.-Cuba relations to set up his comedic mission – namely, to meet the Cuban people (Ok, as many as a 75-minute episode would allow) and connect with them on a human level.

What ensued, though, was merely a series of traditional latenight-style field pieces,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

I Am Ali, film review: The legendary boxer is still the greatest, even in a flyweight film

Muhammad Ali books, articles and films constitute a mini-genre in their own right. Heavyweight authors and journalists from George Plimpton and Norman Mailer to Gay Talese, David Remnick, Thomas Hauser and Hugh McIlvanney have written extensively about him. There have been several biopics (including 1977's The Greatest, in which the boxer played himself in very arch fashion, and Michael Mann's Ali from 2001, in which he was played by Will Smith) and documentaries about his most famous bouts. Most recently, Ang Lee has been developing a 3D movie about Ali's 1975 fight with Joe Frazier, the so-called "Thrilla in Manila".
See full article at The Independent »

Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 7 - HitFix Picks

  • Hitfix
Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 7 - HitFix Picks
[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, Fxx is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.] Day 7 of Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon goes from "Simpsons Tall Tales" (the end of Season 12) through to "The President Wore Pearls" (the beginning of Season 15). I must admit: The "Simpsons" fans on Team HitFix are beginning to drop like flies. Josh Lasser's fandom carried through the Tomacco episode, but no further. David Lewis wrote a blurb here for "Simpsons Tall Tales," the episode he says ended his active support of the show.  Fortunately, Sepinwall and I had a pair of favorites apiece and Katie Hasty also had a preferred episode, so we've got some recommendations for you, plus a couple episodes you can avoid.  [And while I only wrote up two episodes I love, there are at least 10 more that I'll be happy to rewatch if I'm around and another 10 more that I'd enjoy having on in the background. Possibly more. This may be the worst period for "The Simpsons" thus far, but I'll always maintain that middling-to-poor "Simpsons" is still more rewatchable than nearly anything else on TV.] Check out our recommendations for Day 7 and chime in with your own favorites... Katie Hasty Recommends: "She Of Little Faith" (3 a.m.) Episode #275 Why
See full article at Hitfix »

Heroines of Cinema: Why Rejecting Maya Angelou Was a Huge Mistake Made By the Film Industry

  • Indiewire
Heroines of Cinema: Why Rejecting Maya Angelou Was a Huge Mistake Made By the Film Industry
In the many obituaries that followed Maya Angelou's death, her career as a filmmaker was often touched upon, usually as a side note. This is quite understandable -- Angelou's literary achievements clearly dwarfed her work in cinema, which was sporadic and relatively unprolific. But what was not remarked upon was the fact that this is not necessarily how Angelou would have had things be. Read More: Remembering Author Maya Angelou's Film and TV Career In 1972, the film "Georgia, Georgia" caused Maya Angelou to become the first black woman to have a feature length screenplay produced. A landmark achievement, it would seem, but this is certainly not how Angelou looked back on it. In a 1990 interview with George Plimpton, she chose to bring up the film in order to illustrate her experience of racism. "In the shape of American society" she told Plimpton, "the white male is on top,
See full article at Indiewire »

The Biz: American Masters Explores the Life of George Plimpton

Author George Plimpton was making reality television long before anyone used the term.

Plimpton's exercises in participatory journalism led to the groundbreaking 1968 best seller Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last String Quarterback, which tells how he suited up with the Detroit Lions. It was a concept easily adapted to television. He did network TV specials in the late 1960s and 70s where he played triangle with the New York Philharmonic, performed as...

Read More >
See full article at TVGuide - Breaking News »

TV Review: ‘Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself’

TV Review: ‘Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself’
Few media figures have felt more conspicuously ahead of their time than George Plimpton, who brought a mix of journalism, hucksterism and showmanship together in one aristocratic package — like Anderson Cooper, Morgan Spurlock and Johnny Knoxville all rolled into one. PBS does the man justice with “Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself,” a 90-minute “American Masters” documentary devoted to the perpetual amateur who popularized the term “participatory journalism,” and seemed to cram several lives into one. Interesting on its own terms, the doc echoes more loudly, considering how perfectly suited to today Plimpton’s style feels.

After a few obligatory biographical tidbits (his father, for example, being a rather disapproving jerk, based on Plimpton’s narration), George essentially stumbled into his job at the Paris Review. Quickly, he embarked on a string of participatory stories designed to establish him as a surrogate for the reader — providing an idea of what
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Peter Matthiessen, Author Who Embraced Nature, Dies

Peter Matthiessen, Author Who Embraced Nature, Dies
Peter Matthiessen, a rich man's son who spurned a life of leisure and embarked on extraordinary physical and spiritual quests while producing such acclaimed books as The Snow Leopard and At Play in the Fields of the Lord died Saturday. He was 86. His publisher Geoff Kloske of Riverhead Books said Matthiessen, who had been diagnosed with leukemia, was ill "for some months." He died at a hospital near his home on Long Island. "Peter was a force of nature, relentlessly curious, persistent, demanding - of himself and others," his literary agent, Neil Olson, said in a statement. "But he was also funny,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Documenting the Life of George Plimpton: Interview with Luke Poling and Tom Bean Part II

In the second part of the interview with filmmakers Luke Poling and Tom Bean about the documentary, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, they discuss structuring the movie, getting to the final edit, and distribution. Read Part I here: Documenting the Life of George Plimpton: Interview with Luke Poling and Tom Bean Part II Filmmaker: You said you did 50 or 60 interviews. How did you choose those people? Bean: A lot of them were people who had either written about George or knew George. Whenever you interview someone they go, “Have you talked to such and such a person?” […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Documenting the Life of George Plimpton: Interview with Luke Poling and Tom Bean Part II

In the second part of the interview with filmmakers Luke Poling and Tom Bean about the documentary, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, they discuss structuring the movie, getting to the final edit, and distribution. Read Part I here: Documenting the Life of George Plimpton: Interview with Luke Poling and Tom Bean Part II Filmmaker: You said you did 50 or 60 interviews. How did you choose those people? Bean: A lot of them were people who had either written about George or knew George. Whenever you interview someone they go, “Have you talked to such and such a person?” […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Documenting the Life of George Plimpton: Interview with Luke Poling and Tom Bean Part I

George Plimpton led an eclectic life as a journalist, writer, editor, sportsman and actor, though he was perhaps most widely known for his exploits as a participatory journalist. When filmmakers Luke Poling and Tom Bean set out to make their first documentary, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, they were faced with enough material to make several documentaries. A project like this might have daunted some first-time filmmakers, said Poling, “We’d kicked around the idea of doing one, when Plimpton came up we said, ‘Let’s go for this.’” Poling and Bean both studied film in college, but first met at […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine_Director Interviews »

Documenting the Life of George Plimpton: Interview with Luke Poling and Tom Bean Part I

George Plimpton led an eclectic life as a journalist, writer, editor, sportsman and actor, though he was perhaps most widely known for his exploits as a participatory journalist. When filmmakers Luke Poling and Tom Bean set out to make their first documentary, Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, they were faced with enough material to make several documentaries. A project like this might have daunted some first-time filmmakers, said Poling, “We’d kicked around the idea of doing one, when Plimpton came up we said, ‘Let’s go for this.’” Poling and Bean both studied film in college, but first met at […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Long Before Obi-Wan There Were the Eight D'Ascoynes: Guinness Day

Alec Guinness: Before Obi-Wan Kenobi, there were the eight D’Ascoyne family members (photo: Alec Guiness, Dennis Price in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’) (See previous post: “Alec Guinness Movies: Pre-Star Wars Career.”) TCM won’t be showing The Bridge on the River Kwai on Alec Guinness day, though obviously not because the cable network programmers believe that one four-hour David Lean epic per day should be enough. After all, prior to Lawrence of Arabia TCM will be presenting the three-and-a-half-hour-long Doctor Zhivago (1965), a great-looking but never-ending romantic drama in which Guinness — quite poorly — plays a Kgb official. He’s slightly less miscast as a mere Englishman — one much too young for the then 32-year-old actor — in Lean’s Great Expectations (1946), a movie that fully belongs to boy-loving (in a chaste, fatherly manner) fugitive Finlay Currie. And finally, make sure to watch Robert Hamer’s dark comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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