Watch Kanye Record “Smuckers” in New Clip From Tyler, the Creator’s Documentary

Watch Kanye Record “Smuckers” in New Clip From Tyler, the Creator’s Documentary

Last year, Tyler, the Creator announced a new documentary about the making of his 2015 album Cherry Bomb. Today, his platform Golf Media shared a new clip from the film that begins with Kanye West recording his verse for the record’s “Smuckers.” Later, Tyler talks about the song, as does Lil Wayne, who is also featured on the track. Watch it below.

The first 10 minutes of Cherry Bomb: The Documentary premiered at Tyler’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in November. The full doc—which includes appearances from A$AP Rocky, Pharrell, Schoolboy Q, the Internet’s Syd, Kali Uchis, and more—is scheduled for a DVD release this month.

Read “Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, the Creator’s Odd Future as Mature Adults” on the Pitch.

Listen to “Smuckers”:

Watch the trailer for Cherry Bomb: The Documentary:

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Watch: Second Teaser Trailer for Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’ Introduces a Villain

Cars 3 Teaser Trailer

Meet the hot, young racers that Lightning is going up against. Disney has released a fun new teaser trailer for Pixar’s Cars 3, introducing two of the new villains in the upcoming sequel hitting theaters this summer. The racecar Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, is back again and this time he must prove he’s still relevant when a "new generation of blazing-fast racers" threatens to push him out. The very first teaser trailer was quite dramatic – showing a big crash about to happen. The two new bad boy cars include Jackson Storm, voiced by Armie Hammer, and Cruz Ramirez, voiced by Cristela Alonzo – revealed by EW.com. Both of them get short little video introductions in this fun teaser. I’m still waiting to see more real footage.

Here’s the second unofficial teaser trailer (+ original teaser poster) for Pixar’s Cars 3, direct from YouTube:

Cars 3

Cars 3

You can still watch the first teaser trailer for Pixar’s Cars 3 here, to see some other footage from this sequel.

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Pixar’s Cars 3 is directed by newcomer Brian Fee, a storyboard artist and animator (for Pixar) making his directorial debut. The screenplay is written by Daniel Gerson. Disney will release Pixar’s Cars 3 in theaters everywhere starting on June 16th, 2017 this summer. Who’s interested?

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The Changing Shape Of TCA Press Tour In The Age Of Twitter And Peak TV

Fox

Today marks the start of the winter 2017 Television Critics Association press tour, as a few hundred TV critics and reporters from across the U.S. and Canada descend on the same hotel in Pasadena for two weeks of press conferences, interviews, parties, and the occasional milking of a goat.

I’ve been attending press tour for over twenty years now (though won’t be arriving at this one for a few more days), and the event itself goes back decades before that in one form or another. Like a lot of things about the TV business (see also upfronts, sweeps, and even the very idea of the broadcast networks), it’s an idea born in a very different era adjusting on the fly to a new one where its original purpose doesn’t entirely make sense.

Press tours began in a time pre-Internet (even when I began going in the mid-’90s, there was a press room filled with typewriters and landline phones so reporters could call in their copy to their editors back east) with the idea that the critics in attendance would spend their weeks in the hotel squirreling away story acorns for the long, cold months ahead, so that an interview with Ed Asner about transitioning Lou Grant from sitcom to drama, or press conference quotes for an “Is the sitcom dead?” trend piece (say, just prior to the launch of The Cosby Show) could be gathered in July and run in September or October without anyone noticing or objecting.

Since the TCA was formed in 1978 to allow the press to exert a measure of control over the event, the tour’s two participants have always had competing agendas: networks eager to turn the press into another arm of their publicity machine (and preferably as close to the premiere of a show as possible), and press pursuing their own interests and expressing their own opinions. For the bulk of the TCA’s existence, this uneasy alliance had its tricky moments (NBC boycotted the tour back in 1982 due to a “lack of civility” from the critics towards Peacock executives) but has mostly held firm. Every now and then, there would be rumblings that one network or another wanted to pull out of tour and save a chunk of money (critics pay their own way to tour, but networks are still on the hook for renting out the ballroom, providing rooms for all the talent attending their day, feeding the TCA members so the press doesn’t all go on an In-N-Out Burger run in the middle of a panel) in the process, but no one actually went through with it out of institutional inertia, as well as a fear that they’d be losing out on a press cycle that their competitors were all enjoying.

In recent years, though, the meaning of press tour, and the relationship between the TCA and the networks, has gotten a lot more complicated. Laptops became a familiar presence in the ballroom by the early ’00s(*), and as more online-only outlets joined the TCA, quotes from the press conferences that would have once had a shelf life of months now had to be published in less than a day — and preferably in less than an hour — to have any currency. By the time most of the TCA was on Twitter, that shelf life was down to minutes. If a few hundred writers simultaneously tweeted the same Shonda Rhimes quote about killing off McDreamy, who would care to read it closer to when Grey’s Anatomy returned to ABC’s schedule?

(*) Even before everyone brought a MacBook to tour, TCA members had other ways of tuning out the event. One veteran critic was infamous for bringing a broadsheet newspaper into the room with him, and if a panel started to bore him, he would take out the newspaper and — with a lack of shame and a great deal of fanfare — methodically go through it page by giant page.

The networks always resented the ways that the press would question, if not outright mock, the spin their executives and producers delivered from the ballroom stage, but when the anti-spin started happening in real time, combined with the shrinking of the publicity window, well… let’s just say there’s been a lot of soul searching on both sides about the value they get out of tour, which led to the unusual circumstances of this month’s version of it.

The most unique, and valuable, part of press tour has long been the executive sessions, where the heads of various broadcast, cable, and streaming networks have had to stand before the TCA and take all questions without filter. If a network’s on a big winning streak, and/or the network president has a good relationship with the press (say, John Landgraf at FX), the executive sessions can turn into victory laps. More often, though, they involve very powerful men and women being forced to answer questions they’d really rather not, about poor decisions they made, shows they regret having ordered, stars behaving badly, etc. And while many of them develop methods of running out the clock (Jeff Zucker always liked to filibuster at the start of his NBC sessions, while former ABC boss Paul Lee was notorious for giving vague answers to almost every question), they all still got up there and faced the press, because it was a tradition to do so, and because everyone else did it, too.

Until this time.

At the January tour, none of the original Big Three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) will have an executive panel. Fox also intended to have its executives sit this tour out, but abandoned that plan after press outcry. (The CW was always going to have an executive session, and several cable networks will do the same at different points in the tour.)

The networks who bailed have said it’s a scheduling issue, because they want to devote as much time to discussing upcoming shows; they claim they will all do executive sessions again at the summer press tour. Some reporters speculated this was a response to the fiasco CBS’ Glenn Geller walked himself into back in the summer, when nearly half his executive session was devoted to pointed questions about the network’s lack of diversity among its new fall shows; who would want to risk their executive getting the Geller treatment?

But it’s felt like the event was trending this way in a while, and it was almost surprising in recent years to realize the networks were still willing to leave their top suits exposed on stage like that every six months, just because that’s the way it had always been done. There’s great value to being up there, too — as The Hollywood Reporter‘s Tim Goodman argued in the wake of the executive session cancellations, if you take the stage, you have a much greater chance of controlling your network’s public narrative than if you don’t —but as networks become more corporate and more managed, it’s a wonder no one tried backing out of one of these panels before, except in extreme cases where the head of the network was brand-new to the job. (And even then, they would often do a panel, just so they could smile and shrug off every difficult question by explaining, “I just got here. I’ll look into that.”)

This January tour will still happen, featuring dozens and dozens of panels on shows appealing to every demographic (panelists range from Ken Burns to Nicole Kidman to Andy Cohen), plus many non-broadcast executives. I’m still happy to go to get better insight into this thing we call television, and I appreciate the efforts that both the TCA officers and the various networks have made to figure out how to make the tour work in the age of social media. But it’s a process, and one complicated by the fact that the TCA membership isn’t a hivemind, but a large group of people with different interests and agendas. Some people are there to chase scoops about development and casting, others to look at the whole TV business through a socio-political lens, while others like me are just curious about how the sausage gets made.

That, more than anything, is why I keep going to tour; I may not write much out of the press conferences these days, but the answers that showrunners and executives give about the decisions they made provide useful insight when I’m writing about specific shows, trends in the business, etc. And — like a lot of the membership at this point — I’ve found ways to bank plenty of stories for later use, even if it requires way more effort and creativity than it did in the days where what was said in the ballroom stayed in the ballroom for at least a few months.

There’s still value on my end, and there should still be a ton of value on the networks’ end, since it’s still a huge megaphone for shows that need every bit of help they can get grabbing people’s attention in the age of Peak TV. Like the TV business itself, press tour is evolving — never fast enough to satisfy all the parties involved, or to keep up with the many changes to the medium in the time of Peak TV, but as fast as all involved can make changes happen.

I’m hopeful that the Big Three keep their word about executive sessions at summer tour — even if there’s much more value to having them appear in January, when their story for the season hasn’t yet been written and there are more questions about what they’ll do next — and that Netflix comes back after sitting out this January tour. But even though parts of tour are relics of something dreamed up during the Jimmy Carter administration, the event as a whole is still incredibly valuable to anyone who writes about, or simply cares about, TV.

And with that very long piece of inside baseball out of the way, here’s the latest modified version of the glossary from the guide to press tour I originally wrote in my Star-Ledger days (with a lot of help from Matt Zoller Seitz), with explanations of the more common events:

The Press Conference: The staple of the tour. Each day features eight or more of them, ranging from 30-60 minutes. The cast and creators of a show are led onto a stage so brightly lit that they can’t see anyone in the audience, and reporters fight for the microphone to ask questions — some smart, some dumb, some inexplicable. (“Your sons, they’re both boys?”)

As I said, the purpose of tour originally was for the critics bank quotes and story for later usage, whether as a standalone piece or part of a trend story. The internet in general, and Twitter in particular, changed all of that. Once upon a time, we sat in the ballroom, took notes, picked up copies of the transcripts (prepared, even today, by trained stenographers at the front of the room) of each session, and waited for the right day to deploy a story about why Kim Delaney wanted to work with David Caruso on CSI: Miami. Now, the ballrooms have wifi, and we’re all tweeting out the most notable news, quotes and weirdness from the room almost as soon as it happens.

The problem, of course, is that most of the smarter reporters in the room have recognized how quickly everything said on that stage becomes obsolete, so they’ve stopped asking questions altogether during the press conferences. This can lead to awkward gaps in conversation, even in shows we’re all clearly interested in, and it can lead to terrible questions that even the most cursory of Google searches would render unnecessary, or weird digressions that baffle everyone in the room but the writer with the microphone.

But as alluded to above, the press conferences remain invaluable even when I know I won’t be able to use a single quote from them. TV criticism — at least, the traditional pre-premiere review kind that I still practice a lot — is part analysis and part prognostication. You’re reviewing the first episode of a show that in success will run for 100 episodes or more. As a result, we have to guess which shows will improve from their pilots, which will get worse, and which will stay the same, and the answers the creative team give in these sessions are often blinking neon arrows towards whatever direction the show is going. One year, both NBC and FOX had long-form dramas about kidnapping (Kidnapped and Vanished, respectively) that seemed like they might be hard to sustain for more than a handful of episodes. The Kidnapped producers were smart and confident and had lots of answers for how the show might work if it came back for a second, third or fifth season; the Vanished creator looked terrified at every question about where the series might be by episode 4. Both shows ultimately failed in the ratings, but Kidnapped was good (and did, in fact, have a foundation that future seasons could have been built on) and Vanished was a mess, and I could tell which way each was going to go by the end of those two press conferences.

The Question That Will Not Die: Every tour, an early session sets the tone for all that’s going to follow, as someone asks a question that will be repeated over and over again, from session to session. Sometimes, it’s the same critic, doing prep work on a story; more often, it’s a feeding frenzy, with critic after critic asking The Question or, when panelists refuse to answer it, trotting out variations of it. (A popular tour phrase: “If I could come at that from a slightly different angle…”) The Question occasionally appears at more than one tour: “Why aren’t there any minority actors on your shows?” is a perennial. (This year, because the networks have cast so many minority actors in lead roles, we’ll get the inverse of that question.) And sometimes, The Question becomes an odd joke. A while back, every critic was working on a “Are there too many new serialized dramas?” column (short answer: yes), but the first network to make an appearance was CBS, which only had two serial dramas on its schedule and was still known for traditional procedurals like CSI and Without a Trace. Still, The Question had to be asked, and asked, and asked some more, and CBS president Nina Tassler was completely befuddled by the whole thing. At one point in the session — possibly multiple points — I believe the phrase “You’re kidding, right?” was uttered.

The Filibuster: A phenomenon that usually pops up at press conferences for struggling networks executives, wherein the exec uses up a third to a half of the allotted time giving a speech about useless demographic trivia, a strategy designed both to trim the time for Q&A and bore the critics so much that they’re too sleepy to ask the appropriate “Why do you still have your job?” type questions.

Sometimes, though, The Filibuster comes from a panelist who has nothing to hide, but who also is very fond of the sound of their own voice and not prepared for the idea of a give-and-take with reporters. The most famous example of this was in January of 2011, when Oprah Winfrey replied to an innocuous question about her childhood dreams with an 18 minute and 15 second marathon answer that only occasionally had anything to do with the question that was asked. (This was also a classic example of the critics using Twitter as a coping mechanism; without the ability to tell the world what was happening as it happened, and to crack jokes with one another, someone surely would have shouted for Ms. Winfrey to pipe down already and let us ask another question.)

The Scrum: For 5-15 minutes after each session, reporters surround one or more of the panelists to ask follow-up questions. Once upon a time, this was for parochial stuff the local reporters wouldn’t feel comfortable asking in front of the group. (“How did growing up in Duluth shape your acting?”) Nowadays, though, it’s the place where the reporters who didn’t want to speak up during the sessions wait to get their questions in. The problem, of course, is that many of the scrums have started turning into mini-press conferences, and in a much more uncomfortable environment where everyone is pressed together in a circle, holding out their phone or voice recorder and trying to get the attention of actors and executives who don’t have eyes in the back of their heads.

If you’re lucky, though — usually if you’re interested in the non-J.J. Abrams producer of a J.J. Abrams show, or the fifth banana on a show built around a former movie star — you can get several minutes of one-on-one or two-one-one conversation, and the answers tend to be much better as a result than most of what’s said into the blinding lights of the panels themselves.

The Scrum Evacuation: Sometimes when the press conference is over, the producers and writers will beat a hasty retreat through the backstage door rather than loiter onstage or come outside to take follow-ups. This is usually a sign that 1) the show is in trouble, 2) the network is terrified that the talent might say something unflattering about the network, or just plain dumb, 3) we have a star from another field (usually music or movies) who considers themselves above one-on-one contact (Diana Ross once stationed bodyguards in front of the stage to prevent a scrum) or 4) the network is blowing off the print and internet reporters in order to get their people across the hotel in time to do pre-scheduled puff piece interviews with TV and/or international outlets, which attach themselves to press tour as remoras attach themselves to the underbellies of sharks. These days, official TCA business is only half the day for most of the actors and producers who attend, as the networks try to take advantage of having everyone in one place to churn out as many electronic interviews as possible.

The Working Lunch: While the critics pay to travel and stay at the tour hotel, the networks make breakfast, lunch and dinner available for free, mainly as a means of keeping every critic from fanning out to the restaurant of his or her choice and losing attendance for the sessions. Some meals are just meals, but lunch often includes a press conference in order to maximize a channel’s time that day. Also, most lunch sessions are devoted to shows that the critics might be inclined to skip if there wasn’t the promise of convenient nourishment attached.

The Non-Party Party: Press tour is a dawn-’til-midnight affair, and most nights end with a “party” thrown by that day’s network that, in theory, is designed to give the critics more informal access to the stars, producers and executives. Problem is, in order to get their top talent to come to the thing, the networks try to throw actual parties, complete with music so loud that it’s all but impossible to conduct an interview. One year, a critic on the verge of retirement entered a WB party filled with interchangeably attractive 20-something actors all talking amongst themselves while the reporters who hadn’t already left in disgust stood along the walls; the critic waded into the middle of the room, held up his notebook and loudly asked, “Does anyone here have a personality?”

Some networks also go out of their way to entertain the critics themselves. PBS in particular does this a lot (in part to get critics — many of whom rarely cover public television when Downton Abbey or Sherlock isn’t around — to come to their events) by scheduling concerts with people like Sting and Tony Bennett at the ends of their days. But even the more commercial networks will sometimes try to get us to enjoy these working parties. A while back, NBC let critics pose for pictures with Animal Practice star Crystal the Monkey (aka Annie’s Boobs from Community). Fox often stages their tour party at the Santa Monica Pier, which provides an opportunity for critics to win stuffed animals for their loved ones, but isn’t a particularly ideal venue for interviews. And a few years ago, HBO brought the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones for critics to pose on if they wanted to.

The Very Special Unscheduled Guest Star: Every now and then, a tour party gets overtaken by someone who’s not supposed to be there — or, at least, isn’t supposed to be getting any attention. During the first year of Ally McBeal, David E. Kelley brought wife Michelle Pfeiffer with him to Fox’s tour party – much to the chagrin of both Pfeiffer (who was mobbed with questions on a night she was just expecting to hang with her husband) and the Fox publicists (whose stars were being ignored in favor of an actress not on the network). At that same party that featured Crystal the Monkey, an even bigger distraction took place when Todd Palin (starring in a quickly-forgotten NBC reality show) brought Sarah Palin with him to the party, attracting one of the largest party scrums of all time.

The Session That’s Better Than The Show: What the name suggests. This usually happens with sitcoms, where the ad-libbed answers the actors give turn out to be far funnier than any scripted punchlines they deliver in their series. Every now and then, you’ll have a bad pilot that turns into a good show after the creative team is able to harness the chemistry that was so clearly there on the TCA stage; usually, though, these things are reminders of how much talent gets wasted in the business every year.

To quote my favorite movie, see ya in L.A., Marvin…

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at sepinwall@uproxx.com

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Riley Keough & Jena Malone Are Good Friends in Trailer for ‘Lovesong’

Lovesong

"It’s okay to feel a little crazy… But it’s not fair to you to have to do it all by yourself." Strand Releasing has debuted a trailer for the film Lovesong, an indie drama that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival last year. Lovesong is the latest film from Korean-American director So-yong Kim, starring Riley Keough and Jena Malone as two close friends who end up getting even closer when they go on a roadtrip together just before one of them is getting married. The cast includes Brooklyn Decker, fellow filmmaker Cary Fukunaga, Juliet Fitzpatrick, Neal Huff, Ryan Eggold, Marshall Chapman & Amy Seimetz. This trailer has a nice feel to it, and this seems like it might be worth catching for these two lead performances.

Here’s the first official trailer (+ poster) for So-yong Kim’s Lovesong, in high def from Apple:

Lovesong Poster

Neglected by her husband, Sarah (Keough) embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy (Malone). Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding. Lovesong is directed by Korean-American filmmaker So-yong Kim, of the films For Ellen, Treeless Mountain, In Between Days previously, as well as a few shorts and TV work. The screenplay is by So-yong Kim and Bradley Rust Gray. The film is premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival a year ago. Strand will be releasing Lovesong in select theaters starting February 17th this winter.

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J.K. Simmons vs Emile Hirsch in First Trailer for Comedy ‘All Nighter’

All Nighter Trailer

"This is not a movie, this is life." The first trailer has debuted for an indie comedy titled All Nighter, the second feature from director Gavin Wiesen, who last directed a film titled Homework (which was retitled to The Art of Getting By). All Nighter stars J.K. Simmons as a workaholic father who decides to visit his daughter in LA, only to discover she’s missing. He find her ex-boyfriend and ends up searching for her with him. Emile Hirsch is the ex, a banjo-playing goofball. The full cast includes Analeigh Tipton, Kristen Schaal, Taran Killam and Stephanie Allynne. This looks like a wild night of fun, I just hope it’s good.

Here’s the first official trailer (+ poster) for Gavin Wiesen’s All Nighter, originally from Yahoo:

All Nighter Poster

A workaholic father who attempts to visit his daughter during a layover in LA, only to discover that she’s disappeared, is forced to team up with her awkward ex-boyfriend to find her over the course of one transformative night. All Nighter is directed by American filmmaker Gavin Wiesen, of the film The Art of Getting By (aka Homework) previously; this is his second feature. The screenplay is written by Seth W. Owen. The film has yet to play at any film festivals, despite Wiesen’s last film premiering at Sundance. Good Deed Entertainment will release All Nighter in select theaters + on VOD starting March 17th this winter.

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Shapeshifter: Close-Up on Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Mysterious Object at Noon”

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on MUBI. Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) is playing January 2 – 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom.
Mysterious Object at Noon
“My story is not really connected. I just made it up in an instant.”
Mysterious Object at Noon 
“Too much like a game. You should at least have a script.”
Mysterious Object at Noon
Once upon a time, dot dot dot. As beginnings go, the silent cinema-style intertitle that opens Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s debut feature, Mysterious Object at Noon, is especially apposite. In terms of both action and theme, the ellipsis is everything: its promise of adventure structures our suspension of disbelief into the very premise of the film. Go with this, it suggests. Or come. The fiction into which it accelerates us is simultaneously one that has already happened and one we have yet to hear. Mixed tenses, and tensions, abound: we fluctuate, continually, between tones, registers, modes. As the cliché by now goes, Apichatpong’s film is itself a mysterious object. Where to begin?
Fittingly enough, I came in somewhere near the middle: of two asymmetrical halves. 5 January 2008. Eight years after Mysterious Object at Noon premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and seven years from the present moment: a trip to my local independent cinema to catch a screening of Syndromes and a Century, the fourth feature credited to Apichatpong as sole director (The Adventure of Iron Pussy, a musical action comedy completed in 2003, was co-directed with Michael Shaowanasai).
I loved Syndromes: the quiet hilarity, the gentle repetitions, that increasingly ominous advance through the empty corridors of a hospital basement; and its inexplicably upbeat coda. In the years since, however, proceeding through Apichatpong’s oeuvre has been, on my part, a regrettably sluggish process, one without any real method or commitment (I still haven’t seen his most recent feature, Cemetery of Splendor). It’s been regrettable because, in the gaps between viewing the Thai’s films, one can forget just how weirdly singular they are, how inimitable. I have allowed the poor imitations that have emerged following Mysterious Object to cloud my critical judgment.
One forgets, indeed, the very things that one once deemed unforgettable. In December 2010, I described Apichatpong’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives as “a playful sort of ‘anti-drama’ in which otherwise outrageous narrative events are treated with simultaneous sincerity and whimsy.” I appreciated, very much, how “its frank, observational warmth was loaded with a sense of what may or may not be ‘doom’ (its low-volume bass accompanies scenes of characters interacting long enough for us to find its menace rather absurd and good-humored).” And I loved how “its ever-present natural ambience imbues a pantheism across unconnected ‘parallel realities’ and an ambiguity fiercely retained and encouraged through their matter-of-fact presentation.” 
These were, as I discovered recently, observations eerily applicable from the start. Joe, as Apichatpong has become affectionately known, is the kind of artist whose individual films, riffs on a theme, all fit—to lesser and greater degrees—the more general descriptions by which critics define his work. Describe one and you might be perceived as talking about another. His first feature, in retrospect, can be seen as a kind of tentative blueprint: it teems with good-humored absurdity, with an ever-present naturalism, with parallel realities and suggestions, here and there, of doom—or at least something resembling menace—all held together by a single cinematic style. 
The participatory nature of Joe’s first feature is testament to the strength of his artistic vision. At once easygoing and difficult to follow, Mysterious Object’s structure employs the corps exquis technique, first advanced by André Breton and the French Surrealists: a meaning-making game by which a sentence or picture is formed from individual units, each of which is contributed by someone with minimal or partial access to what the preceding whole looks like. Shot across three years on black-and-white 16mm and a shoestring budget, the film favors neither fiction nor documentary as its default narrative format. Put another way, that this film has Apichatpong’s stamp at all tells us something about his stylistic confidence and formal mastery. This is the work of a natural shapeshifter, an artist most comfortable when trading in slippages.
Its first slippage is immediate. If the onscreen text (“Once upon a time…”) suggests a familiar folkloric form, like the opening signature of the Star Wars films, the first images of Apichatpong’s film seem to act as a counterbalance. Traveling shots, filmed from a moving vehicle with vérité urgency, navigate an urban terrain that is too particular, too contemporary, to backdrop some oral legend of yore. And on it goes, like that highway sequence of interstitial zones that marks a shift between worlds in Tarkovsky’s Solaris. We negotiate an exit ramp, move into the stop-start rhythms of cluttered Bangkok backstreets. A phantom ride: as if the camera itself is searching for something to fixate upon.
When the vehicle stops, when the camera is finally able to rest upon concrete details in the surrounding locale, we spend some time with a woman who is in the middle of recounting her past (life): being sold to an aunt and uncle by her own father. “Do you have any other stories to tell us?” asks Apichatpong off-screen, as if this autobiography was itself made up. “It can be real or fiction.” Encouraged to conjure something, there and then, the woman leaves us with a scenario, of a teacher—later named Dogfahr—caring for a paraplegic boy: “Let’s say there was a house. There was a disabled boy and a teacher who came to teach him everyday…” 
This is less a story than a scenario, one that extends and expands, snippet by snippet, as Apichatpong and his crew travel across Thailand—Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Pisanulok, Khon Kaen, Panyi Island—indexing a geography of collaboration (“These simple things the Siam people do”). Switching between its “storytellers” and the filmed enactments of their narrative contributions, Mysterious Object is an experiment in morphology. In its collaborative nature, in its pluralistic embrace, it dismantles the very notion of conventional authorship. 
This is not merely false modesty on Apichatpong’s part. His film is a document of narratorial strategies: written, oral, signed, musical, cinematic. It is, in a key respect, about dealing with the hand you’re dealt: by way of imagination, or imaginative acts. Storytelling becomes less a way of escaping the present, here, than a way of coming to terms with an ineluctably inherited past. Each new chapter is constrained by the story so far: and so creativity, a means of unmooring oneself from narrative expectations, becomes a kind of survival mechanism. For the storytellers, the sense of personal joy attached to (and gleaned from) these improvised additions to the unfolding story is sharp and clear.
Transmutation is the radical necessity upon which Apichatpong’s project insists. Somewhere beneath its thick cloak of meanings, we find a statement of intent. It comes when one narrator, an elderly woman, is confronted with the age-old question of how to overcome a narrative dead-end. She asks if the spherical object that falls from the teacher Dogfahr’s skirt—an utterly bonkers development concocted by one of her predecessors—can become another child. Doppelgangers, sex changes, extraterrestrial life forms and witch tigers follow. And the director replies, encouragingly: “Anything you want.” 

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Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill Break Up

Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill Break Up

Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill have ended their relationship, according to a tweet this morning by Minaj. Their relationship was all but publicly confirmed in early 2015, after they posted numerous photographs of one another on their social media accounts. Before that, the two had collaborated for The Pinkprint tracks “Big Daddy” and “Buy a Heart.” Minaj also made appearances on Meek’s 2015 album Dreams Worth More Than Money. Now, they’ve split, and Minaj says she’ll have new music soon. 

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Watch: New US Trailer for Zombie Horror ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’

The Girl with All the Gifts Trailer

Saban Films has debuted an official US trailer for the zombie horror adaptation The Girl with All the Gifts, which already opened in the UK last year. The story is about a girl, named Melanie, who is being kept at a military base that is one of the only remaining safe havens in a zombie apocalypse. When the base it overtaken, she goes on the run with a few other people, attempting to survive in a hostile world. The movie stars Sennia Nanua as Melanie, along with Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and Paddy Considine. I saw this film at a genre festival in Berlin last year and really enjoyed it, one of the most refreshingly original updates to the zombie genre I’ve seen in a while. I highly recommend it, for the performances alone. This US trailer contains some spoilers and crops the footage, but the UK trailer is still available to watch. Have fun.

Here’s the new US trailer (+ UK poster) for Colm McCarthy’s The Girl with All the Gifts, from EW.com:

The Girl With All The Gifts

You can still see the original UK version of the trailer for The Girl with All the Gifts here, for a different take.

A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie. At an army base in rural England, children being studied attend school lessons daily, guarded by the ever watchful Sergeant Parks. But one little girl, Melanie, stands out from the rest. Melanie is special. She excels in the classroom, is inquisitive, imaginative and loves her favourite teacher Miss Justineau. When the base falls, Melanie escapes along with Miss Justineau, Sergeant Parks and Dr. Caldwell. Against the backdrop of a blighted Britain, Melanie must discover what she is and ultimately decide both her own future and that of the human race. Directed by English filmmaker Colm McCarthy (of Outcast, "Peaky Blinders", "Sherlock", "Doctor Who"), adapted by Mike Carey from his own novel of the same name. Saban Films opens The Girl with All the Gifts in US theaters starting February 24th. Anyone?

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