Spotlight
Sweeping Culture Daily

SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

In Five: Affleck Goes Back to Prohibition, Simon Rattle Departs Berlin Philharmonic, and More Culture News

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1. Ben Affleck has dropped out of “Focus,” the film he was to star in alongside Kristen Stewart, so he could focus all his time on his next directorial effort, “Live By Night.” The film, based on a novel by celebrated writer Dennis Lehane (who the director already adapted with 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone”), is “about a young man during Prohibition who falls deep into the world of organized crime.” Affleck is set to write, produce, direct, and star in the film, his follow-up to “Argo.” [Slash Film]

2. Simon Rattle, the chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, is planning to step down from the podium when his contract expires in 2018. Rattle came to Berlin in 2002 after spending 18 years conducting the City of Birmingham Orchestra in England, and made the announcement five years in advance to give the orchestra ample time to find a new conductor. The orchestra plans to spend the next five years focusing on the “many exciting projects which are already in the planning stages.” [Artsbeat]

3. Alan Ball, the creator of “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood,” has taken his new show, the pulp thriller “Banshee,” to Cinemax after HBO after the network passed on the series. “When we were at HBO, we were dialing back on the pulp nature,” Ball said in an interview. “At Cinemax, we went to our original pitch again: high-octane entertainment, violent and clever, yet complex. It also allows us to treat the sexuality in the show in a very frank and adult manner. We don’t have to hold back.” If you’re interested in the show, you can watch the premiere episode over at Buzzfeed. The only problem? You have to watch it as a series of GIF’s. Welcome to 2013! [Hollywood Reporter]

4. Is Sundance coming to Brooklyn? Reportedly, the festival is in talks to create “a large-scale New York festival,” and hope to launch a “Sundance initiative that would take place in DUMBO.” This news comes on the heels of announcement of a Made in New York Media Center in DUMBO, backed by Mayor Bloomberg, which would act as a hub “for advertising, film, media and video-game development.” [NY Post]

5. Take a listen to Four Tet’s unofficial reimagining of “Skin,” at track off “Visions,” the latest album from Grimes. On Twitter, the DJ explained the song’s origins: “It’s just some track I made the other day using a loop from her record… no remix going on or anything.”  [Stereogum]

Previously: Tina Fey, Richard Blanco, Christopher Nolan, “Les Miserables,” Mac DeMarco

Image: Ben Affleck/Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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