By Craig Hubert | We’re halfway through the Cannes Film Festival, and things are about the same as they’ve been all week. Robberies are still happening, doppelgangers are still confusing people, and now a few assaults have been thrown into the mix. Based on reports, none of the films have been rapturously received, and none have been vigorously booed (although we see that Claire Denis’ “The Bastards” received a confused reception earlier today — the reviews should be in by tomorrow). “But behind the dazzling display lurks a darker, seedier reality,” reports The Sun, convinced that something sinister is going down at Cannes. But really, how can we prove them wrong? Today, everyone is talking about Steven Soderbergh’s highly-anticipated “Behind the Candelabra,” and Paolo Sorrentino’s satiric ”The Great Beauty.” Below, the initial, snap reactions from critics.
SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily
Posts Tagged ‘Craig Hubert’
By Craig Hubert | The internet, who now decides these type of things, has been pretty indecisive about “The Crash,” this week’s episode of “Mad Men.” Was its zig-zagging, dream-like structure a nod to the later seasons of “The Sopranos,” where Matthew Weiner used to put pen to paper? Could it have been a giant, allegorical post-Robert Kennedy death-trip? What’s up with them avoiding the race issue? Phew. Let’s put these questions aside, for a moment, and dig into what we’re here for, the cultural references. “The Crash,” as weird an episode as it was, featured quite a few — from more popular books (last week featured “The Last Picture Show”), period-specific drugs, and a few on-the-nose songs, as this show is wont to do.
By Craig Hubert | Ray Manzarek, a founding member of The Doors, has died. He was 74. His manager, Tom Vitorino, confirmed the musician died after being stricken by bile duct cancer. Born Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr. in Chicago, he formed The Doors in 1965 after moving to Los Angeles and meeting Jim Morrison. Manzarek remained active in music after Morrison’s death and the demise of the band, where he produced records for Echo & the Bunnymen and X, among others. His memoir, “Light My Fire: My Life with The Doors,” was published in 1998. Manzarek is survived by his wife, Dorothy, his son Pablo and two brothers, Rick and James.
By Craig Hubert | Beloved mom-porn novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” has reached China, according to reports, where pirated copies of the book have been hitting shelves despite the country’s strict censorship laws. “Not many people know about it yet,” a spokesman for the Foreign Multi-Resource bookstore is quoted as saying in the Daily Beast. “There has been no publicity, so it’s only a cult book at the moment.” Readers have reportdly been sharing their steamy throughs about the romance at the center of the book on Chinese social media site Douban. “Who would have thought that such a vulgar novel would be so popular all over the world, even breaking Harry Potter’s record?” one commentator reportedly said. Of course, they don’t think the book is actually good: Douban users rated the book just 5.3 out of 10, complaining of its “tedious style.”
By Craig Hubert | We’re now one day into the Cannes Film Festival, which opened yesterday with rain and a little Leonardo DiCaprio, a the reviews are starting to pour in over the internet. So far, the most talked about film have been Amat Escalante’s frightening narco-drama “Heli,” Sofia Coppola’s pop-minimalist “The Bling Ring,” and Ari Folman’s dystopian half-animated/half live-action “The Congress.”
By Craig Hubert | Because Kanye’s thing now is showing up at places out of nowhere and doing weird things (wait, that’s always been his thing), the self proclaimed “God” made an appearance at the Adult Swim upfront at Roseland Ballroom in New York City, reports Pitchfork. But of course, he didn’t just make an appearance — West showed up inside a giant, translucent pyramid, sort of like the giant stage prop Daft Punk used to perform inside but more foggy and weird looking, and debuted a few new songs. The internet flipped out, because that is the natural reaction anytime West does anything. Lots of people took shaky cell phone shots and Vines, because taking Vines is a thing now. It’s hard to tell what’s happening inside the pyramid, although it looks like West is wearing a onesie and doesn’t appear to have donned a kilt or furry costume this time around, which is a bummer. Watch below:
By Craig Hubert | It’s impossible to escape Daft Punk right now — the mysterious robot helmet wearing duo have a new album, “Random Access Memories,” coming out next week, which means they are appearing everywhere. This doesn’t mean that you will learn anything new about the group, though; Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter perform with helmets on for a reason. Frankly, we’ve stopped reading the deluge of profiles and think pieces about the group, which is why we missed this small tidbit, buried in Ryan Dombal’s profile of the two dance-music pioneers published by Pitchfork: “at one point, Bangalter let it slip that he and de Homem-Christo recently had a meeting with [Brian] De Palma to ‘discuss some things,’ though he declined to divulge any specifics.” Now, the obvious connection here is via De Palma’s “Phantom of the Paradise,” the director’s 1974 musical that features the unique pop stylings of “Rainbow Connection” songwriter Paul Williams. If you’ve checked out “Random Access Memories,” currently streaming at iTunes, or read anything about the album, you probably know that the group are big fans of the film and Williams is featured on the album’s gorgeous centerpiece “Touch.” So could Daft Punk now be reaching out to De Palma for some kind of video accompaniment to the track? Are we about to see a “Phantom of the Paradise” reunion?
By Craig Hubert | There was a lot happening in this very dramatic episode of “Mad Men,” which ended with the tragic death of Robert Kennedy. Previously, we’ve seen mentions of the Vietnam War in the media, Bing Crosby, and some groovy clubs in downtown New York. This week, it was the mention of a recently cancelled television series, a critically acclaimed novel about a group of people haunted by their past, and a popular song about everybody just getting along.
By Craig Hubert | They’re back! Of course, you already knew that. The new season of “Arrested Development,” set to premiere all in one shot on Netflix on May 26, has been hyped for what feels like years now. It’s hard to escape the chatter online, or the billboards, or the subway advertisements. Now we have an official trailer, our first real glimpse of what the new season has to offer. We have the stair-car, George Michael’s frowned upon relationship with his cousin Mabey, Buster’s hook, and the world’s most inappropriate lupus joke, courtesy of Gob. And so much more! This is looking good. As if there was any chance otherwise, now we’re certain we’ll definitely be there. Two weeks, people! We need to find our short shorts, fast.
Watch the trailer below: