The Annie Remake Looks Even More Saccharine Than the Original
In the run-up to the 2013 Oscars, there was a lot of debate about whether Quvenzhané Wallis’ moving performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild was the work of a precocious talent—she was 5 when cast in the role—or the result of clever direction and editing. She has since appeared in a short film and had a small part in 12 Years a Slave, but her next movie, an updated adaptation of the Depression-era musical Annie, will be her first big chance to strengthen her reputation as a child who can really act.
Our First Look at Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix
It was worrisome at first to learn that the upcoming Jimi Hendrix biopic starring Andre Benjamin would not feature any of the late artists’ original music due to his estate’s disapproval of the film. But now we have a first look at the charismatic Outkast member embodying the rock and roller in All is By My Side, and it’s actually quite promising. In the very brief clip featuring Imogen Poots as Linda Keith (the British model famous for helping to launch Hendrix’s career), Benjamin definitely has the vocal intonations down pat.
Someone Just Solved True Detective, and I Can’t Believe No One Thought of This Before
Warning: Don’t watch this video if you’re worried about spoiling the identity of the Yellow King.
Everyone who’s watched True Detective has heard of “the detective’s curse.” As Marty explains it, “The solution was right under my nose, but I was paying attention to the wrong clues.” When it comes to the identity of the Yellow King, this new video from Big Meeting (via Grantland) offers the most compelling evidence yet.
A “One Second a Day” Video Like You’ve Never Seen Before
We’ve all seen these “photo a day” or “one second a day” videos before, time-lapse montages that show us the passage of time before our eyes: people having children,conquering long distances, and growing up.
But not every year in a life is so life-affirming, as this video so brutally reminds viewers.
Where Do I Start With Little Feat?
The most underrated ’70s band to come out of Los Angeles—no, make that the whole country—Little Feat never had a hit single. In my years of listening to classic-rock radio, I’ve yet to hear one of their songs in the rotation. Until former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres published Willin’: The Story of Little Feat in November of last year, no one had written a biography of the band. Fong-Torres’s book is jammed with quotes from the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, and Rickie Lee Jones, testifying to the primacy of Little Feat during their golden age. Marshall Tucker, Eric Clapton, and Robert Plant have called Little Feat their favorite band, and the Stones and Dylan both made sure to see them live. They still tour, but without their founder, who died in 1979. Happily for Feat’s fans, though, Rhino Records has just released a 13-disc box set of the band’s recorded and live songs, plus outtakes, called Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971-1990. If you’ve never gotten acquainted with the band, now’s the time.
American Cheese-Makers: Stop Imitating Europe! Create Your Own Cheese Names.
NPR’s Latoya Dennis has a report out this week about European attempts to compel America to “get its own cheese names.” Europe takes cheese names very, very seriously. The EU affords “protected designation of origin” (PDO) status to 180 cheeses, from Allgäuer Bergkäse to West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. The PDO label is a type of geographical indication that means that a cheese was made in a specific region according to traditional methods—similar products made in other regions must use another name or risk getting sued.
Now, as part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently under negotiation between the U.S. and the EU, the European Parliament wants America to adopt some of those PDO standards—which means that Kraft Parmesan cheese in a can will need a new name. (In Italy, the salty dairy powder is known as “pamesello.”) In the European Parliament’s view, “the Agreement should guarantee respect for the European Union’s standards and values. This is why the negotiations should … make provision for the strong protection of intellectual property rights, including geographical indications.” (The EU has been fighting this uphill battle for a while.)
Dennis interviewed a U.S. cheese-maker who’s unhappy with the proposed agreement. “People have spent a great deal of money on labeling, building traditions, building a name on a product,” Steve Stettler told Dennis. (By “people,” he means “American cheese-makers.”) “And then not being able to use that name would be kind of horrific.”
I am sympathetic to the argument that the EU restriction would make life difficult for American cheese-makers, and god knows it’s hard enough for agricultural producers to make a living already. But the EU is right. American cheese should get their own names.
Now on Broadway, for One Night Only: Adele Dazeem
Tonight, Adele Dazeem appears on Broadway, as she’ll play Elizabeth in a preview performance of If/Then, the new musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. At least that’s what the Twitter feed of If/Then swing performer Janet Krupin suggests, as Krupin posted a photo of an apparent program insert announcing Dazeem’s appearance, along with a bio that looks a lot like (but just slightly different from) that of regular If/Then star Idina Menzel. (No word on whether this will actually appear in programs at tonight’s show.) Boy, do I wish I’d seen Dazeem in the original Broadway production of Nert.
Update, March 5: The If/Then press office has emailed a response, breaking our hearts: "We have not changed the playbill, nor have we put an insert in. Previews begin tonight, so there was nothing passed out at the theatre yesterday. It was a joke by someone, though not from the production."
Watch a Beautiful Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman
You might think that 21 minutes is too long for a video tribute, but Philip Seymour Hoffman was the kind of artist whose work calls for it. Filmmaker Caleb Slain says he spent more than 200 hours putting it together, and his work shows: The tribute includes almost 50 films, stretching all the way back to Hoffman’s first appearance on Law & Order, and even features hidden gems like Hoffman’s great commercial for the “D&D Mattress Man” from Punch Drunk Love.
Set to music from a few of those movies (the scores for Punch Drunk Love and Magnolia, Iggy Pop’s “Search and Destroy” from Almost Famous), it’s also edited beautifully to showcase Hoffman’s range. (If you’re not sure whether it’s worth your time, just check out the section at 14:40, set to the “uncool” speech from Almost Famous, or the section at 17:20, edited to a section of Hoffman’s 2010 interview with KUOW.) Like the scope of the work Hoffman left behind, it’s overwhelming.
Is This New York Times Headline Offensive to Chickens?
The people who comment on New York Times articles are, as a rule, among the calmer, less excitable commenters on the Internet. But today many of them are in a huff about what they see as a cruel headline: “California’s Coddled Hens Trigger Interstate Feud.”
The accompanying article, by Stephanie Strom, is about Missouri’s lawsuit to block California’s requirement that all eggs sold in the West Coast state be produced by chickens with enough room to spread their wings. Commenters argue, correctly, that describing such treatment as “coddling” is hyperbole. (The common alternative, battery cages so small that hens can’t even stand up in them, are widely regarded as inhumane.) “These hens are not coddled,” points out Karin, from Michigan. “They are still in cages all their lives.” Nick, from New York, makes a more pointed argument: “‘Coddled’ hens? Since when it [sic] giving a living animal enough room to freely move about her cage coddling? This is basic decency ....” The word “coddled” appears 23 times, and counting, in the discussion section on the article.
By comparison, it appears in the article itself zero times—not even in the headline, which is different on the article page than it is on the New York Times homepage.
Calm Down, Bon Iver Fans. They’ll Be Back on Spotify Tomorrow.
Bon Iver’s music mysteriously disappeared from Spotify yesterday, and Bon Iver fans are pissed. This is just a sampling of the outrage from Bon Iver’s RABID fans: