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30 Apr 17:45

In Conversation: Seth Rogen

by David Marchese
kfunk

ok - bear with me ... skim through for the part about Sacha Baron Cohen. What is happening???

"Where has Sacha Baron Cohen been lately? I always wonder if he’s struggling to find his next character or if he’s just rich and doesn’t need to work."
"I know the answer and I can’t tell you what is. I literally can’t talk about it."

"That’s awfully enigmatic."
"You’ll understand why."

Seth Rogen is 36 years old, hasn’t starred onscreen in a comedy in a couple of years, and his newest project is Hilarity for Charity, a Netflix special intended to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. None of that, though, should be taken for signs of maturity. “The special pretty much starts with me vaping weed through my cock,” says the impressively bearded Rogen, enjoying a cheeseburger at a quiet restaurant in downtown Manhattan. “My mother did express some dismay over that.”

Whatever his mom thinks, Rogen’s raunchy but good-hearted stoner sensibility has served him well so far, as evidenced by hit comedies like Knocked Up, Superbad, and This Is the End (and maybe served him less well in the infamous The Interview, which was widely believed to have goaded North Korea into hacking Sony Pictures). “But the truth is,” he says, whether he’s writing, acting, directing or, increasingly, producing, “I don’t know how to do anything other than make the things I think are funny.” Then he laughs his big, booming laugh. “Things like cock-vaping.”

What thoughts get kicked up when you see North Korea in the news these days?
It does kick stuff up for sure. Honestly, I really don’t think North Korea hacked Sony.

Why’s that?
When the trailer for The Interview came out we were called into a meeting at Sony, where they told us that North Korea had probably already hacked into their system and seen the movie and that the statements they’d put out was their response. Then, months later, when the movie itself finally came out, all this hacking shit happened. This was months after North Korea had probably already seen the movie. Why would they wait? And they never did anything like that before and haven’t done anything like it since. So things just never quite added up. The guy I’d hired to do my cybersecurity even told me, “There’s no way this was a hack. It had to be a physical act.” The amount of stuff that was stolen would have had to have physical mass to it.

In the sense that whoever stole the information needed to have his or her hands on a server at some point?
Yeah, it wasn’t something you could’ve hacked remotely. It required plugging shit into other shit. And the hack also seemed weirdly targeted at Amy [Pascal], which seems fishy — of all the people to target? Why not me? Why not Michael Lynton?

Has anyone given you a plausible theory for who else might be responsible?
I’ve heard that it was a disgruntled Sony employee. I’ve also heard people say that they think someone was hired to do the hack as a way of getting Amy Pascal fired. I don’t know if I subscribe to those theories, but I kind of don’t think it was North Korea.

Did the Sony hack change anything about the way you do business?
No. It literally did not create one hitch as far as work. The hack happened in November [2014], I started shooting Steve Jobs that January. We directed the Preacher pilot that April. We got into Neighbors 2 a couple months after that. When I look back at that whole situation, the thing I regret is that Sony convinced me to pretend to the press that we didn’t know what we were doing when we made The Interview. They wanted us to act like we were just trying to make a silly comedy and didn’t know we were making something controversial.

They were asking you to play naïve?
They were asking us to look like these dumb stoner filmmakers who just happened to make a movie about Kim Jong-un without really thinking about it. Like, we had no idea North Korea might be mad!

So why’d you play along?
Look, I mean it all was happening in real time. They [Sony] were not protecting us very well. They pulled the movie from theaters when I was in a green room about to go on Colbert. No one from Sony came up to me being like, “Yo, we’re doing this.” They totally floated us out on our own. They just kept saying, “Say [The Interview] wasn’t meant to be controversial. Say the controversy was an accident.” And that’s what we did! Just because it was all happening so fast and we didn’t know what the fuck was going on. So that’s what I honestly regret: not just saying, “We knew exactly what we were doing with The Interview.”

Maybe this question doesn’t quite apply if North Korea wasn’t responsible for the hack, but did your experience with The Interview make you think any differently about the stakes of satire? Just insofar as realizing that there can consequences for taking shots at people.
Maybe. But even if the hack was North Korea, I don’t regret doing the movie. The other regret I do have is that we could have made the movie itself better. Creatively we could have done things to help the tone. There was a joke in Hilarity for Charity that we wound up cutting out where Nick Kroll was yelling at me about The Interview, and he’s like, “Your failure to wrangle James Franco’s performance gave the whole movie tonal problems.”

Is there truth to that?
I do think it’s true! I think I could now make a better movie, but as far as the actual content of the movie goes, I don’t regret anything.

James Franco is something I have to ask you about. Were the recent allegations against him in keeping with the person you know?
The truth is that my perspective on this is the least relevant perspective. I’m friends with these people and I’m a dude. All that combined makes me the last person who should be talking about this.

Is it fair to say that the allegations didn’t change anything about your willingness to work with him in the future?
Yes.

Can you tell me about the experience of seeing someone you know so well involved in a controversy like that?
There are so many people with real things to contribute to the #MeToo discussion that anything I say is not going to add anything useful.

What you’re saying about your perspective as a white guy not being the most relevant to these larger cultural discussions — how does your awareness of that affect how you think about your work?
I just try to be with the curve, not behind it. This is not in any way about pandering, but I think Neighbors 2 had an incredibly progressive message. I think Blockers has an incredibly progressive message. We hired Kay Cannon to direct it and she did an amazing job. We’re hyperaware of trying to be as representative as possible in the directors and writers and actors we work with. I’m sure we could definitely be doing more to be ahead of the curve in that way, but, again, I couldn’t be more aware that my perspective is not one people are clamoring for.

So much of the work that you’ve done is rooted, on some level, in trying to put characters onscreen that are antidotes to Hollywood clichés. Like, Superbad was your attempt to show teens you actually recognized instead of teens as they appeared in American Pie. Or Pineapple Express put plausible real-life stoners in an action-movie setting. So what antidotes are you most eager to put onscreen next? What gaps need filling?
Evan [Goldberg] and I talk about this a lot. We’re trying to make the movies that we wish we could be seeing but aren’t. This movie I did that’s coming out with Charlize Theron called Flarsky — what titles puts asses in seats better than random Jewish last names? But anyway, it’s a big R-rated romantic comedy like Pretty Woman, which is something you don’t see a lot of anymore. It’s for adults, unabashedly, and it’s the exact type of thing that I would love to go see with my wife. And it’s also the exact type of thing that’s barely in existence right now.

How is Invincible going to be novel in that way? There’s no shortage of superhero movies.
The idea to do Invincible came from our wanting to do a very traditional superhero movie — suits and capes and flying around — and include elements that are incredibly antithetical to traditional superhero movies. We want to participate in genres but also approach them differently than how they’re normally approached.

Does “we” mean you and Evan?
Yeah, sorry, me and Evan. I make very few autonomous decisions in my career.

Got it. On the subject of superhero movies, is there a part of you that’s glad The Green Hornet didn’t land? If it’d done well, you’d probably still be making Green Hornet movies.
It’s more that I’m glad that we did that movie when we did it. We were a little before the superhero curve. We did that once, and it went as bad as you would imagine, for all the reasons you would imagine, and now we know it’s not for us. So many people’s careers get sucked into these giant movie franchises, but we’ve learned that it’s a fucking nightmare when you’re making a studio’s most expensive movie. The studio involvement on a project of that size is just not worth the trouble. It’s a lot better to be making the studio’s least expensive movie.

How close was Nicolas Cage to playing The Green Hornet’s villain?
Really close.

Oh, man.
Yeah, that shit was crazy. Which is funny, because in retrospect maybe what he’d wanted to do wouldn’t have been any worse — the movie didn’t turn out so great, so maybe he would’ve made it crazier. Which would’ve at least been interesting.

Wait, what are you talking about?
Basically, when you’re making a movie that expensive the studio has a real say in who you cast. So the studio was like, “You gotta make the villain a star. We want you to cast Nicolas Cage.” So we thought, let’s talk to him. And we do, and he tells us that he wants to do the movie, but he wants to play the character as, like, a white Bahamian or Jamaican. Which to us was a little worrisome.

Oy.
Yeah, not that there aren’t white Bahamians, but it seemed perhaps insensitive. So then we were going to have a big dinner with Nicolas Cage at Amy Pascal’s house to talk about the movie. And I remember driving to the dinner with Evan and saying, “If he does the white Bahamian thing at the dinner, I’m going to lose it.” [Laughs.] I was like, “I can’t deal with being face-to-face with Nicolas Cage as he’s doing a Bahamian accent.”

So what happened?
Within 20 minutes of getting to the dinner he’s fully doing it.

Was the accent good?
It was good! But I think he could so viscerally tell that we didn’t like the idea that he just left right in the middle of dinner. He was just like, “I gotta go.” It was as if I just stood up right now with you and walked out. That’s how abrupt it was. Then he called me two days after that and said, “I’m getting the sense that you don’t want me in this movie.” That’s what happened. But God bless Nicolas Cage. I’m a huge fan.

What’s good and what’s bad about how much superhero movies are dominating Hollywood?
I think Evan and I have managed to avoid feeling the pressure from them. We make reasonably budgeted movies that, so far, have made those budgets back. But you know what’s funny? When we used to schedule our movies’ release dates, the idea was always that we didn’t want to come out near another R-rated comedy, and now there’s only like three big R-rated comedies a year, and sometimes we produce two of them. But every once in a while a major piece of IP will come up to us through our agents, and they’ll say, “Do you guys want to have a meeting about this?” And because of The Green Hornet our answer is always “no.” We’ve been served well by trying to stay on the lower end of budgets rather than get back into the hundreds of millions of dollars budget game.

You did a joint interview with Judd Apatow a few years back where you said, I think only partly joking, that you hadn’t gotten any funnier since you were a teenager writing Superbad. Do you really think that’s true? And if it is, then what have you gotten better at over the years?
Am I much funnier than when I was 17? Probably not. But I do things less by accident than I used to. It used to be that I’d come up with stuff almost just through sheer quantity. I remember hearing a quote once — I’m going to get it wrong — but it was something like, “You know you’ve gotten better at something when you’re actually able to make the thing your taste is telling you to make.” In the past, we’d have ideas but weren’t able to get them across exactly how we wanted. More and more, we can actually achieve the things we imagine making. That’s been a shift I’m proud of.

So using that criteria, what movie of yours are you proudest of?
This Is the End is the craziest movie conceptually that we could’ve made at that time, and the fact that it seemed to function and be received well was very surprising. Because we were like, “This was a big swing,” you know? I don’t know if that’s our best movie — Superbad I’m sure has more fans and Pineapple Express is probably the movie people mention most when they come up to me on the street — but as far as my own feelings, This Is the End had the most ways it could go wrong, and we avoided most of the pitfalls.

You’ve also said previously that you’re aware of how some of the jokes in Superbad haven’t aged that well. But is it possible to write edgy comedy with an eye on what might age badly? Especially now, it feels like a joke can go from basically being okay to being irredeemably offensive in the space of weeks.
I have accepted that a lot of what I do just won’t age well, but the thing is, nothing ages well. Animal House is one of the best comedies of all time and you watch it today and it’s appalling. There’s tons of shit in that movie that back then was “edgy” and today feels categorically wrong. That’s just part of comedy. But I also accept that some people won’t like what we do, and those people will express that, and I’ll listen to what they say. I try to understand where the lines in the culture are. I want to know when I am crossing the line, and I also want to convey to the audience, in some subtle way, that I’m aware of the lines. Audiences get nervous when they don’t trust that the filmmakers fully understand what they’re doing; you want to know that the people making the offensive jokes understand what’s offensive about them. It’s hard because, like you said, the line is always moving, but I think having the lines is right. I’m not one of these comedians who’s like, “People are too PC and it’s ruining comedy.” The man is not cracking down on my jokes.

Are there jokes you’ve come up with but didn’t use because they were too offensive?
Probably tons!

What’s one of them? I’m always curious about where individual comedian’s lines are.
Actually I don’t think we’ve ever not used a joke because it was too offensive. There would also have to have been another reason. If the joke was pushing the line and was also not funny enough then we wouldn’t use it. But if it was pushing the line and everyone was laughing and it served the story and no one complained afterward, then it’d be okay. It’s almost like you need for there to be a negative symptom before you can determine that a joke is a problem. But we have taken jokes out of movies when test audiences just went, “That’s too fucked up.”

Like what?
There was an early version of Sausage Party where Douche captured the group and was going to torture someone. So he got a rat, lifted up its tail and fingered the rat’s butt. Then took his rat-butt finger and swooshed it around in Lavash’s mouth. You could tell the test audience would have preferred if we hadn’t done that. So we took it out.

Do you ever wonder about the shelf life of the raunchy stoner-comedian persona? It’s like, it’s great to be your generation’s Tommy Chong while you’re in your 20s and 30s. But at some point no one but Tommy Chong should be their generation’s Tommy Chong. Do you know what I mean?
Yeah. That’s very true. I don’t think it’s gotten sad for me yet — but it’s close! Like I said, we’ve always made the movies that we would want to go see and seeing comedies where people are high all the time is not at the top of my list of shit to go see anymore. But it helps me to know that we’ve got things in the pipeline that are moving things in different directions for me. Like, I’m 35 now and the movie we just made is about a 35-year-old.

You’re talking about the romantic comedy — what was it? Lipschitz?
[Laughs.] Goldenfarts.

Flarsky!
Yeah, the movie soon-to-be-called-something-other-than-Flarsky — that name is going to change. But that movie is a step in a more adult direction. It’s definitely an R-rated movie but it’s drawing humor from new areas. Our sensibility is evolving. It just may be that it’s happening glacially.

Is a romantic comedy where you and Charlize Theron play the leads going to invite some of the same negative criticisms that bubbled up when you and Katherine Heigl played opposite each other in Knocked Up
Probably! We’ll see how progressive people have gotten regarding my attractiveness over the last ten years.

Did you find those criticisms offensive?
I got what people meant. What I was shocked by was that people didn’t seem to understand that we didn’t invent that dynamic. As much as I would like to think we were the first to put a fucking Jewish dude and a shiksa in a movie together, we were not. Did those people not see When Harry Met Sally? That’s been a comedy formula for a long time: the schlubby guy and this woman who maybe is out of his league in some capacity. Every movie I watched growing up was like that. Every Woody Allen movie. John Candy movies. All the Bill Murray movies. I was surprised that people were acting like it was this new thing in Knocked Up.

I think the question was not really about whether or not that dynamic had existed prior but about whether or not its existence in movies is inherently messed up.
It was one of those things where if I really wanted to intellectualize how silly the discussion was, I could, but I would have been fighting someone else’s fight. I personally wasn’t offended.

Fair enough. I have what’s maybe a stoner-y question about weed for you: How much of your comedic sensibility was enhanced by drugs and how much was it actually formed by them?
That’s hard to know. What I do know is that I’ve started reading more about drugs as I’ve gotten older and what I’ve read has made me think, Man, I did a lot of shrooms when I was like 13 and 14 years old — dozens of times at a formative age. It’s a real consciousness-expanding drug, so maybe it’s had pretty deep effects.

Do you still regularly take hallucinogenic drugs?
I don’t know if I’d say regularly, but I do them, yeah.

For fun or insight?
Shrooms are a very insightful drug — very introspective.

What’s an insight you’ve gotten from them?
I did shrooms recently and then quit a job the next day. So yeah, I’ve made some real-life decisions as a result.

Can you say what the job was?
No.

How important is weed to your creative process?
What I’ve found, more than anything, is that weed makes me willing to work. When I was young I found that a lot of people I knew were trudging through the workday. They were just waiting to go home so they could do what they really wanted to do and smoke weed. At some point I was just like, “If I smoke weed while I’m working, then I don’t have to do the trudging part.”

A two-birds, one-stone situation.
Exactly. If I’m stoned I’ll happily work all day long. I don’t really smoke when I’m acting because I can tell I look stoned, but other than that, being high makes me more willing to spend ten hours doing something that could otherwise get laborious.

Do you ever write sober?
Probably just by nature of time passing every once in a while.

You mean in the time between one high wearing off and the next one kicking in?  
Yeah, moments arise organically where I find myself sober but I never will be like, “I’m gonna write sober today.”

High or sober, what are the funniest things you’ve seen lately?
The Good Place I really like. It’s totally insane and interesting. Big Mouth is emotionally resonant, it’s hilarious, it’s outrageous. I couldn’t enjoy it more. Rick and Morty is super smart and funny. I rarely like to use the phrase “next-level shit” but Nathan for You and “Finding Frances” was next-level shit. I watched it three times. I honestly think Nathan for You is the most brilliant thing on television.

Was it clear to you back in high school that Nathan Fielder was a genius?
I thought so. Being in high school with him was, like, imagine him the way he is on the show but there’s nothing telling you it’s a bit — no cameras, it’s not on Comedy Central. He came across to a lot of people as awkward or weird but I could tell it was a shtick. We were on the improv team together and he would do his thing. You knew he understood what he was doing, too, because he used it to make audiences laugh. It wasn’t like he was just a weirdo. When I saw Nathan for You, I was like, “Oh yeah, Nathan’s found the perfect vehicle.”

While we’re talking about comedians with whom you have somewhat random associations: Did you ever figure out why Rob Schneider picked a fight with you on Twitter? 
I never did. My best guess is that — is he very conservative politically?

That’s my understanding.
Yeah, so the best I could do was that maybe he was preemptively cutting off what he thought was an avenue for conflict if I were to go after him. The truth is, I’ve said so many mean things about so many famous people that I have a hard time keeping track. I’m working with Jon Favreau right now, and he was like, “That joke you made about me in Funny People actually hurt my feelings.” And I was like, “I honestly don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” For the life of me I didn’t remember making a joke about him — even one that wound up in a major motion picture.

Just to go back to the subject of how your sensibility has evolved: Your movies are comedies before they’re anything else, but they nod to serious subjects. This Is the End involves people having to look back at their lives and determine if they’ve been good people. And Sausage Party, in addition to having a sexually explicit animated orgy between food products, touches on how we rationalize death. What other big human ideas are you interested in right now?
Evan and I are definitely drawn to the political climate right now, and how exactly to approach that is a question that some projects we’re working on might address. But the thing Evan and I have been talking about the most is that we want to make a silent movie. Like a Buster Keaton movie.

Why?
I’m sick of fucking watching people talk. And our comedy has grown very reliant on dialogue. So the idea is “Can we make a movie that plays like Sausage Party or This Is the End, but where no one talks?”

How far along are you?
We’ve been working on the concept for two-and-a-half or three years. We have a pretty solid outline, but with almost all of our movies there’s always been one idea that ends up locking everything into place, and we haven’t found it yet with the silent movie. With This Is the End, for years we couldn’t think of what would happen in the third act. But once we thought of, the characters figure out they can still go to heaven, we finished the script within a month.

At this stage of your career, as opposed to back when you didn’t know anything, who do you go to for advice?
Jon Favreau is someone I talk to a lot. The funny thing is that when I was young and wanted to be an actor he was one of the guys I remember looking at and thinking, I kind of look like him. If he’s an actor, I could be an actor. Who else? Judd [Apatow]. He’s like family at this point. [Laughs.] With all the good and bad of a family relationship. And Sacha Baron Cohen gives me a lot of advice. During the whole The Interview predicament he was by far the most helpful person advice-wise.

What’d he tell you?
To not say anything. Everyone was calling me and saying, “You’ve gotta talk to this person. You’ve gotta do an interview with these guys. You’ve gotta do a press conference with these people.” Sacha was the only one who said, “Do you want more attention?” “Nope.” “Then shut the fuck up.” That was good advice. We didn’t do any press. We didn’t tweet. We just kept working and didn’t bring any more attention to ourselves than we had to.

Where has Sacha Baron Cohen been lately? I always wonder if he’s struggling to find his next character or if he’s just rich and doesn’t need to work.
I know the answer and I can’t tell you what is. I literally can’t talk about it.

That’s awfully enigmatic.
You’ll understand why.

All right. Are you ever curious about going back to stand-up? That’s where you started, and you haven’t touched it in years, but there are aspects of what you do in the Netflix special that are sort of stand-up-like.
What you’re talking about with the special is more me commenting on funny props and introducing other people and stuff like that. I was actually adamant about was not having any moments where it seemed like I was doing stand-up because I didn’t think it would be fair to other comedians who actually regularly do stand-up. But I am curious about doing it again. I just don’t know if my ego could handle not being good at it. Not that I’m the best at everything I do, but I have a pretty good handle on something like writing. When I watch great stand-ups, I know I am not as good as they are. I never was. That’s why I stopped.

Not because you had the chance to do other kinds of work?
It was because as soon as I moved to L.A. and was on the same shows as Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, and David Cross I thought, I can’t do what they do. But then I started writing screenplays and realized I could do that really well and that I just got it more. But maybe I’d try it again. You know, we had to do stand-up for Funny People, and I remember Louis C.K. sitting me and Jonah [Hill] down for 45 minutes and explaining to us why we weren’t good.

What’d he say?
“The delivery is not good. You seem nervous up there. You’re rushing. You’re not taking your time. You’re sweating. Your jokes are structured badly.” It was all the reasons someone isn’t good at stand-up comedy! I really get curious about doing it again but it’s just not my skill set. It’s like Kanye: Just make great music, man. Actually, no, I’m wrong. Kanye should do everything. He should not put himself in any corner.

What about dramatic acting? Are there roles you’ve seen that you would’ve liked a shot at?
If that’s happened it’s been with a role Jonah got, and he’s a better actor than I am, so it’s okay.

He must lord those Oscar nominations over you.
Oh, yes! Very much! But the truth is that I produce a lot of stuff, so if there’s something I really want to make happen, I can probably find a way to make it happen. Like, there’s a movie now that I hope we get to make — I’m obsessed with the fact that in the ’70s I probably could have been an action star. Big Jewish dudes used to be the most masculine thing there was. Elliott Gould could play a hard-boiled detective! So there’s a movie we’re working on that’s a completely straight, violent underbelly ’70s type of movie, and I’d be in that. But working with other people outside of the stuff we produce is what I can’t control, and it’s always so fun when I get to do it because I can see how other people work and steal from them.

Whenever I talk to filmmakers, I’m fascinated by how much of a crapshoot moviemaking is. Nobody ever seems to know if something is going to turn out well. I know you’ve talked before about how there were clues during the making of The Guilt Trip that the movie wasn’t coming together, but can you remember specifically what those clues were? 
On that one it just felt like the tonal approach was not how I’d originally seen it. I saw that movie as being more dramatic — almost like an Alexander Payne–type movie — than how it wound up. The conversations we’d had going in made me think that everyone was on the same page, and then when we started actually filming, I knew enough about camera placement and how things get put together to realize that it wasn’t going to be the kind of movie I’d thought it was. But for there to be a disconnect between the perspectives of the people making a movie is not weird. I’ve done rewriting work on other people’s movies when I was convinced that the approach the filmmakers were taking was wrong, and then I saw the finished movie and realized, Oh no, I was definitely the one who was wrong.

At least on Guilt Trip you got to hang out with Streisand.
The coolest thing about making that movie was being in a car with Barbra Streisand all day. I would just shamelessly extract stories from her: “Did you meet Elvis?” And yeah, she knew Elvis. She was saying she wanted to cast Elvis in — what was it?

A Star Is Born, I think.
Yeah, yeah. And people thought Elvis was too dangerous or something. She had amazing stories about almost everybody. Pierre Trudeau, she had fling with him. She went on a road trip with Marlon Brando. That was a good story. Her and Brando went on a road trip across America, staying at shitty motels and stuff. Yeah, and she and, I think, Elliott Gould got high with Peter Sellers. Maybe Julie Andrews was involved? Maybe Blake Edwards? I don’t 100 percent remember, but they all smoked weed at Peter Sellers’s apartment and then went out to dinner. [Streisand] said, “All I remember is laughing uncontrollably the entire time.”

I have a feeling that when you get older, people won’t be as intrigued to hear that you smoked weed with different celebrities.
You’d be surprised. People still ask me if I smoke.

Really? It seems like a given that you’re getting high with everyone.
At this point, it should be. [Laughs.]

This interview has been condensed and edited from two conversations.

Photograph by Koury Angelo/Netflix.
Annotations by Matt Stieb.

25 Apr 17:57

habit shift: bedtime routine.

by ERIN BOYLE
kfunk

Anyone have any favorite bedtime rituals to share? Mine usually involves a lot of skincare (we are living in the Golden Age of Stuff You Can Glop On Your Face), Sleepy Time tea, and this lovely solid scent stick that I put on my wrist pulse points https://goodandwellsupplyco.com/collections/perfume-balm/products/dusk-lavender-myrrh-vanilla-2

I'm also trying to get off my damn phone earlier and switching to my book, but the insta algorithms pull me in deep.

bedtime routine | reading my tea leaves I know a lot of you have questions about how we get our two kids to sleep—for the LOVE OF GOD—in a tiny apartment. More on that one day soon, I promise. But in the meantime, I wanted to write about my very favorite subject, which is, of course, myself. (Heh.) And specifically about my very own bedtime routine.

It took me most of my adult life to get turned onto the magic of even having a bedtime routine. Sure, I’ve always brushed my teeth. When I was feeling particularly diligent, I would splash some cold water on my face and call it washed. But when I saw women in movies doing things like sitting up in bed putting lotion on their hands while prattling on to their dozing husbands, first I’d get sad about their general state of affairs, but second I would imagine that people only paid special attention to their bedtime toilette in movies. Surely, I thought, elaborate pre-sleep routines were an indulgent fantasy created by Hollywood. No one actually spent whole minutes just getting in tune with their body before flopping into bed, did they?

In a moment when there’s no shortage of lifestyle advice about the right way to direct yourself on the road to self-care, I never imagined I’d have much to add to the conversation. But I’ve shifted my own habits over the past few years—especially as related to bedtime rituals—and come to feel that far from overly indulgent fantasy, spending a few minutes caring for yourself at the end of a busy day of work or childcare or braving an existential crisis, is, actually, a pretty great idea. Your bedtime routine might include fancy lotions and potions designed to make you feel better. Or it might mean drinking a tall glass of water and adding a drop of lavender oil to your pillow. Maybe it includes measures from both ends of the spectrum. Mine does.bedtime routine | reading my tea leaves

In case you’re thinking about hopping on the bandwagon and caring for yourself a little more tenderly in the evenings (or anytime), here are some of the favorite tools in my toolbox:

Essential oils: I love a good dab of lavender oil applied directly to the corner of my white cotton sheets. That application process is probably not one that would be recommended by linen experts or oil gurus, but it’s what’s very easy and works for me. (I’ve never found it to mark up the sheets.) Once I’ve dabbed my lavender, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, just the smell of it gets me feeling like it’s time to wind down and head toward sleep. (I get a lot of questions about what kind of essential oils I use. I typically buy Aura Cacia oils from my local grocery store. And if you haven’t read it, this piece on the the multi-level marketing essential oil biz is fascinating.)

Face masks: Doesn’t matter if it’s yogurt and oats, or smashed up avocado, or clay, or a very fancy mask filled with science-backed ingredients to get your skin looking refreshed. Spending a few minutes puttering around the kitchen or bathroom and mixing up a mask for my face feels calming and centering and it makes my skin feel great, too. Lately I’ve been using this Resurfacing Moisture Mask, a gift from True Botanicals. No, I never thought about resurfacing anything but a road either, but this stuff seems to work like actual magic. Recommend!

Face oils, and serums, and other holy grails: I’ve talked about my face oil habits before. To be very honest, I’ve rarely met a face oil I didn’t like. I think they’re terrific and I use them every morning and every night on my face and neck and chest. Right this minute, I’m using up the last of a great one given to me by Nectar & Moon, but since writing my last post about them I’ve also used and loved oils from Marble & Milkweed, True Botanicals, Plant Apothecary, and, yes, even the hallowed Olio Lusso from Rodin. What can I say? Love. I’ve also tried a few Vitamin C heavy serums because, yes, I’m 33, no, I haven’t been always terrific about wearing sunscreen. It’s very fancy, but the hype about this Renew Serum is deserved. It’s been a really lovely thing to have the chance to try. Another terrific one I’ve tried at a lower price point is the Brighten Up Vitamin C Serum from Ursa Major.

Floss: My dentist made the small but pointed observation that he can’t get his patients to spend two minutes flossing, but they come to him wanting to know if they should practice oil pulling for fifteen minutes a day. No shade to oil pullers, of course, but the reference point definitely worked its way into my brain and I’ve been trying to build flossing into my nightly routine with a bit more…regularity. Not the most glamorous bedtime ritual, but maybe among the more healthful? If you’re looking into zero-waste floss options, Dental Lace sounds promising.

Hair brushing: If you’re picturing a demoiselle sitting on her tuffet brushing her long locks, well, then, yes. That’s more or less me. Minus the tuffet. This isn’t anything new, but I started really making sure I’d thoroughly brushed my hair before bed, and now I can hardly fall asleep if it’s not brushed out. Maybe it’s just the pregnancy related hormonal swings which have generally changed my hair quite a bit, but I think the nightly brushing habit has made my hair paradoxically less greasy and less dry. Moving all those good oils around, etc. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. (I got my first new hair brush in about eight years a month or so ago and I love it.) bedtime routine | reading my tea leaves

Teas: Contrary to what SEO searches might have you believe, this is not a blog about tea. But I do quite enjoy a cup of herbal tea in the evening before bed. James gave me a special calming blend he had made locally at Fettle, filled with rosepetals, peppermint, skullcap and other calming herbs. It’s very lovely. (And so is having a husband who goes to herb shops to make you calming tea blends.)

Timing: It’s true what they say, but something as simple as going to sleep at around the same time every night makes mornings so much better. (No, I’m not a morning person.) If you have trouble doing this, try setting an alarm on your phone. Sometimes grownups need a reminder that it’s bedtime, too.

Tonics and tinctures and magic potions: I love herbal tinctures and tonics. I love the notion of plant medicine and the people who make it their work to brew helpful tonics to offer a bit of comfort to someone in need. I’ve sometimes dabbled in making things myself, and more often relied on the expertise of others. People ask me sometimes whether these measures “work.” I think yes. But to go full woo-woo on you, I do think you need to approach this stuff with an open heart. I have tried a lot of lovely tinctures from my dear friend Olivia and I’ve loved them. I especially love stirring her Restore & Calm Superfood into a cup of warm milk before bed. I’ve not yet tried Sunpotion, but I know a lot of folks who love it. My general feelings about this stuff? If you think it might make you feel good, go for it. If you’re skeptical, drink another glass of water and live (and eventually die) happily ever after. We’re all mere mortals after all.bedtime routine | reading my tea leaves

Vitamins: I took Vitamin D like it was my job this winter, and I have no intention of letting up. Ditto a B-Complex vitamin. They’re both really important for general health, but also for your mood.  Wintertime is HARD for me. These guys really helped. I forget what brands I have, because of course I covered up the labels. Check in with your local health food store for advice. (Vegan trigger warning: Yes, those golden Vitamin D capsules are made from gelatin because it was the only oil-based Vitamin D capsule I could find and the oil helps with absorption. I do typically avoid gelatin, but occasionally I crave Sour Patch Kids and this winter I took Vitamin D capsules. I contain multitudes. Those are just the facts.)

Water: I was never really a bedside water person. Or, let’s be real, an anytime water person. But blame frequent nighttime wakings due to small humans, and a general effort on my part to do things to make myself feel better, but I’ve gotten so much better about this since having kids. Turns out, it’s awfully helpful to be properly hydrated.

Okay. Enough about me. What sorts of things do any of you do to reset before bed?

Other things:

Aging Ghosts in the Skincare Machine.

Nightgowns and other things to sleep in.

20 Apr 19:59

should I create an Instagram for my dog to make me stand out to interviewers, and more

by Ask a Manager
kfunk

oh #4 is great advice on how to deal with a combative interviewer!

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. Should I create an Instagram for my dog to make me stand out?

I was recently informed that I didn’t get a job that I really wanted. I ended up asking the hiring manager for feedback and one thing she told me was that one candidate wrote a book outside of work hours about how they dissolved their student loan debt (they also hand-wrote a thank you note, which apparently they appreciated more than my emailed thank you note).

I’m now trying to think of ways to set myself apart from competition. I’m still in my first job out of college so I don’t have too much experience I’d be able to refer to. Some applications I’ve come across request websites you’d make for yourself outside of work, like a blog. Would creating an Instagram for my dog be a good idea, as a way to demonstrate that I can market something well and use social media in a more professional way than a personal account? I was thinking of trying to gain a following so I can refer to it in an interview, as something different they’d remember me by. For reference, I am in the marketing field.

There’s a danger in putting too much weight on a single hiring manager’s feedback, because some hiring managers have unusual preferences or opinions. (For example, there are a lot of hiring managers, including me, who will tell you they don’t want handwritten thank-yous, because this is business correspondence, and because so little of importance arrives by postal mail these days that they may not even check their mail inbox for weeks, long after the hiring decision has already been made!) I understand the impulse to put a lot of weight on what she told you because it can be hard to get any feedback — but I don’t think hers was very useful advice to follow.

It’s true that having work samples to point to is helpful, and it’s not a terrible idea to have a website that shows your ability to write, create, etc. And sure, if you created an Instagram for your dog that became incredibly popular and had a huge following, that could be something you could mention in an interview, as evidence of your ability to gain eyeballs online. But the odds of it paying off like that are pretty slim, so it’s not something you should do as a job hunting strategy; you should only do it if your primary motivation is that you genuinely want to build and maintain an Instagram for your dog.

Unless you have some big idea that you’re dying to do because you want to do it (not just to mention it in interviews), you’re likely to have better luck with the more traditional ways of strengthening your candidacy: taking on more responsibility in your current job, volunteering, writing an awesome cover letter, etc.

2. How can I get a colleague to coach his team instead of getting angry with them?

I have a question about how to help a colleague better manage his team. He doesn’t report to me, but we both report to the CEO and I’m tasked with improving team management and workflow in general. If his team turns in low quality work or misses deadlines, he’s vocal in his “displeasure” and makes a point of noting to our boss and to me that he’s mad/frustrated/disappointed/etc. and that he’s made those feelings clear to his team. He never takes ownership of any mistakes/failures of his team. (I should add that he’s also quick to pass on praise to them, so that’s consistent.) How can I help coach him that being “annoyed” about errors isn’t really managing his team, that they need more than “this was a mistake/I didn’t like this” to figure out how to improve, and he needs to feel/take ownership of their work?

If you’re explicitly charged with helping him manage better and he knows that, you absolutely can and should address this. Point out to him that generally managers shouldn’t be taking staff members’ work personally and that getting angry or disappointed is injecting emotion into his management in ways that won’t be effective for him or for his staff. Explain that if he’s not happy with someone’s work, that’s a flag for him to dig in on his own management and figure out what he needs to do differently: Does he need to lay out clearer expectations at the start, check in more frequently, coach someone on their skills, address a performance issue, etc.? Tell him that that’s where his energy should go in those situations, and talk him through what that could look like in a few recent situations where this has come up. (And probably offer to work with him on it the next time it happens so that he has closer guidance in doing this.)

If you don’t fully have the authority to give him that kind of direction, you’ll need to loop in your CEO — but this is the basic message he should be getting from one of you.

3. Can I revise my response to a timed assessment test?

I got to do a technical assessment yesterday for a data analysis job I really want. The hiring manager set up the assessment well in advance and gave me 24 hours to respond to four out of six questions, which included some basic stuff like finding typos in data entry and calculating totals, and some more advanced stuff interpreting what’s going on and writing a mock memo describing the findings. I sort of also accidentally did a fifth question by including data visualizations in my response to the fourth question. Anyway, the hours passed by surprisingly quickly, and to save time I found myself doing it all in the software I’ve been using since before the last ice age (Excel and the SPSS license on my laptop) rather than in SQL and R, which I’m newer to and slower at. I also wish I could go back and tackle the analysis question from a different angle, which would vastly improve the interpretations drawn in the memo. The third thing I’m mad at myself about was realizing that I’d typed in the wrong numbers with a significance test after the fact. I emailed the corrections, which at least demonstrates honesty and got a “thanks for the corrections” response rather than radio silence, so that was probably the right move. Maybe this is just perfectionism from spending most of my career to date in academia, but I really wish I could create a better version of it all.

Should I refrain from mentioning any extra work unless I make it to the next round, since it wouldn’t be fair to count work done beyond the 24 hour limit? Or do I put it in a Google Drive folder and write her saying “I know you can’t really look at this until after Monday because it’s done beyond the 24 hour time limit, but FYI here’s a link to extra work in SQL and R plus an improved memo”?

I think it’s worth doing polished up versions just as coding practice anyway. So, maybe demonstrating my enthusiasm is good, but on the other hand there’s the issue of whether I’d be creating extra work for her or not demonstrating an ability to stick to the time constraints of the test or sending too many emails. What do you suggest?

It would be too many emails, and yes, you’d be creating extra work for her. It’s true that there’s some benefit to her being able to see what you can do with more time — but that’s not what this exercise was. This exercise was “show what you can do in X amount of time.”

Sometimes you can get away with “whoops, please use this version instead” or “here are corrections to the exercise,” but you’ve already done that. You can’t do it a second time without looking flighty/disorganized.

You don’t really get multiple bites at the apple with this. You’ve submitted it, and now you really just need to wait and see what happens from here.

4. My interviewers sounded like they had a problem with the job I was interviewing for

I recently interviewed for a position that seemed like a complete dream job. As one of three final candidates, I was invited to do a series of eight back-to-back interviews over the course of an entire day. The first seven interviews were invigorating, positive, and overall a great experience — but the last one was incredibly odd and I didn’t know how to navigate it. The interviewers seemed to have some sort of problem with the position I was interviewing for (possibly a bad experience with the person in the role in the past, or a dissatisfaction with how the job description was finalized, or who knows!) and their questions all seemed like strange back-handed ways of expressing their dissatisfaction. Questions like, “What do you see MISSING from this job description? What do you see as problematic about this role?”

Neither of these interviewers is on the search committee for this position, but I’m worried about how this strange interview (and my attempts to navigate their questions) may have impacted my candidacy (I’m still waiting to hear back). In the end, I wrote an email to the chair of the search committee to tell her that this particular interview had a very different tenor than the rest of the day and that I had found it difficult to navigate, but that I remained very excited and positive about the position. I would love to know how you would recommend responding to this kind of situation, were it ever to happen again.

When something in an interview is confusing you or feels out of sync with what you’ve previously heard, it’s okay to ask about it! In this situation, it would have been okay to say something like, “I’m curious about the questions you’re asking. It sounds like you might have some concerns about how the role is structured — am I reading that correctly?” Or, “I’m curious to hear your thoughts on that question too — do you think there’s something problematic about the role?” You want to be pleasant about it, of course; your tone should sound genuinely curious, not annoyed. But you’re there to collect information just as much as they are, and it’s okay to ask directly about what you’re hearing.

should I create an Instagram for my dog to make me stand out to interviewers, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

17 Apr 16:43

What RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Vanessa Vanjie Mateo Can’t Live Without

by Vanessa Vanjie Mateo
kfunk

MISS VANJIE MISS VANJIE MISS VANJIE

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, the first queen eliminated from the tenth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race (but undisputedly the most-memed), about which items she can’t live without.

Ruby Woo, because every good ho has a good red lipstick, and Ruby Woo is a staple ho lipstick. It’s that bright-red matte. You could kiss somebody, make out, and you’re good to go, you don’t have to worry about nothing. The Nightmoth is the dark lip pencil. I like to put it and kind of ombré it in with the red to give you some dimension. I want my lips to look real luscious and kissable, so I do those two together. It’s very chola, but if you blend it correctly, it looks cute. It’s my favorite.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

16 Apr 21:17

how can I stop people from stealing my food in the office fridge?

by Ask a Manager
kfunk

shared for twitter thread link - SO good.

A reader writes:

I have a question about how best to call out and address food theft and bad kitchen behavior. Most of our staff is very respectful and we have systems in place to keep our kitchens clean. But there are a few bad actors, and their behavior is getting worse.

There are some communal dishes in the kitchens, but a few of us bring in our own mugs. I’ve occasionally had my mug “borrowed” if I’ve left it too long in the kitchen after cleaning it, which for the most part is fine if they clean it and put it back. But a few weeks ago I found my mug in the kitchen covered with oatmeal. There was literally a thick sheet of oatmeal on the inside, outside, and on the handle — it looked like it had been dunked in a vat of oatmeal. It wasn’t even rinsed. Whoever had made the oatmeal had left it out to dry into concrete on my mug.

What’s more annoying is that I’ve had quite a bit of food and drinks stolen too. A few sodas I could write off as harmless (or an accident). But it’s happening more frequently. Just a little while ago I had an entire box of snacks stolen out of the fridge. And then just yesterday, I came into work and found that someone had opened up a Ziploc that had my breakfast in it and helped themselves to some of it. It’s just becoming brazenly rude at this point.

Do you have any advice about what to do? I have absolutely no idea who it is. For a while I was resigned to venting to a few friends and writing it off, but because the behavior is getting worse. (Seriously, who just starts opening up other people’s containers and helping themselves to half of it?) I want to proactively try to call out the behavior and address it. Post-It notes or a message in the general office Slack are tempting. But I don’t want to be the kitchen police, and I don’t want to sour an otherwise good office/kitchen culture. What’s a productive way to handle a few bad apples in the kitchen?

This is a problem that plagues offices everywhere and, as far as I can tell, no one has ever found a fully effective solution to it. (Witness, for example, the amazing viral Twitter thread a few weeks ago about an investigation into some stolen shrimp fried rice.)

There are a couple of things that work … sometimes. They won’t be effective in all cases, but they’re worth a shot:

* Label your food with your name. Some office food thieves will be deterred by this — maybe because when food is unlabeled, it’s easier for them to believe it’s somehow communal (even if that stretches credulity), or maybe because it’s easier for them to steal when their victim is Unknown Coworker rather than Jane, Who Always Says Hi To Me. On the other hand, particularly sociopathic thieves won’t care. But hey, at least by trying this, you’ll find out which type you’re dealing with.

* Call out the theft publicly. This won’t be appropriate in every office, but if your team is small enough, in some offices you could send an email team-wide saying, “I had a box of mangosteens in the fridge that has gone missing. Please let me know if you know its whereabouts.” Again, sociopaths won’t care (and who knows, might even get a thrill), but your more run-of-the-mill food thieves may feel guilty and be less likely to do it again when they’re forced to see that their pillaging wasn’t a victimless crime.

(You can also get more creative. This person put her food in a thermos and labeled it “breast milk.” People stayed away.)

As for the mug … if you leave it in the kitchen, some people will assume it’s for communal use, since some offices do provide mugs and other dishes. Your oatmeal-eating colleague is gross (how and why was the outside of the mug caked with oatmeal??), but your solution there is just not to leave it in the kitchen (or just to use mugs you’re not attached to, and where you won’t care as much if they’re desecrated with oatmeal).

Truly, though, as long as offices have communal kitchens, people will make their bad manners known there.

how can I stop people from stealing my food in the office fridge? was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

14 Apr 15:36

Who Should Play Prince Philip on The Crown?

by Devon Ivie
kfunk

OOOOO revisiting Colman and Tennant on screen would be soooo goooood. Iain Glen would be awesome too.

Prince Philip Price Philip in Winnipeg, Canada Prince Philip, Ottawa, Canada

With The Crown’s pay-gap scandal now somewhat behind us, there’s another pressing matter for Anglophiles around the world: fan-casting Prince Philip. As we now know, Paul Bettany was set to play Queen Elizabeth’s boo before dropping out in the midst of his negotiations, leaving Philip as the only major Crown player for seasons three and four not yet cast. (Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter will portray Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, respectively.) What exactly makes a good Philip? Well, he must be handsome, cocksure, and most importantly, in his 40s or 50s — The Crown will pick up in the 1970s in season three. Let’s indulge in some well-informed speculation about who should be cast.

The British tabloids are currently favoring Laurie for the role, and it’s easy to see why — his Cambridge-honed mix of acerbic humor and drama has Philip written all over it. Not to mention, he’s a handsome chap who has a lot of free time now that Hulu’s Chance is cancelled. The only slight downside is that Laurie is 58, making him noticeably older than Colman’s age of 44. (Elizabeth and Philip are five years apart.)

The irony of one former Doctor regenerating into another’s aside, Tennant has an excellent track record for playing, uh, poignantly dysfunctional members of the monarchy. (Hello, Hamlet!) Plus, he already has an established connection with Colman, thanks to their three seasons of work on Broadchurch together. Depending when his filming commitments for HBO’s Camping begin, we imagine Netflix would be seriously gunning for his talents.

Macfadyen, one of Britain’s crown princes of period dramas, naturally carries the brooding swagger required for Philip — rewatch Pride and Prejudice or Ripper Street for further evidence or to ogle at his tasteful waistcoats. It helps that his schedule seems to be wide open, too.

In terms of resemblance, one could argue that the True Blood alum looks more like Philip than anyone else in this casting list. Just look at that jawline! He would have so much fun yelling at Charles with that perfect bone structure! Moyer might have to tinker around with his Fox series contract for The Gifted, though.

Here’s another fella with an uncanny physical resemblance to Philip, who also has an enviable history of appearing in some of the most popular period dramas of all time. (If Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey can’t prepare you for two seasons of behind-closed-doors royal drama, we don’t know what will.) Bonus points: He played King George VI in an HBO film, so the Windsor-Mountbatten blood is already flowing.

One of my Vulture colleagues has already argued the merits of Menzies playing Tony Armstrong on The Crown, but instead I posit: Wouldn’t we rather want Lead Royal Menzies over Supporting Photographer Menzies? He’s long been a period-drama pro, and if Outlander taught us anything, we know his accent work is magnificent.

It’s worth noting that Matt Smith once played a younger version of a Fiennes character, in 2008’s In Bruges. (See for yourself here.) If it worked once, it can certainly work again, though The Crown’s six-months-plus filming commitment would likely hinder Fiennes’s many movie roles in development. Still, it’s a nice thought.

There’s a reason why Armitage, in addition to his extensive drama oeuvre, has become a popular e-book narrator: He has a buttery-smooth baritone that screams important authority figure. His Berlin Station leading role may complicate matters, but it’s hard not to get past how Philipian he is, with that athletic build — just give him some blond highlights and he’ll be good to go.

14 Apr 00:01

A Small Kindness I’ll Never Forget

by Lisa Rubisch
kfunk

this is really beautiful. hope all TOR friends take a moment to be extra kind to themselves.

The Beatles

When I was pregnant with my first child, my doctor discovered a grapefruit-sized cyst in my right ovary…

It was most likely nothing, she said; a benign blob that had probably always been there, possibly blooming after marinating in pregnancy hormones.… Read more

The post A Small Kindness I’ll Never Forget appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

05 Apr 20:15

The End Goal

by swissmiss

“The goal isn’t credit. The goal is change.”
– Seth Godin

When your ideas get stolen.

05 Apr 19:53

Jesus Christ Superstar Live: The Highs and the Lows

by Jesse David Fox,Gazelle Emami,Jackson McHenry,Jen Chaney
kfunk

ah this was so good. and a FAMOUS JUMBO FEATURED

Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert - Season 2018

To celebrate the resurrection of Christ, NBC continued its annual TV musical tradition with Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert, a spirited staging that involved lots of guitar shreds, geometric coats, and glitter. Sinning is shiny! Read on for all the highs, lows, and deep Vs.

HIGH: Brandon Victor Dixon. Judas was always the real star of the show, and Dixon’s glowering, raging, Aaron Burr-style made it all the clearer, right up through the messy, sweaty, furious suicide. Bonus points for all the times he had to seethe with anger while resting amidst the scaffolding. Super extra bonus points for absolutely killing “Superstar” in his sparkly pants and tank, the best performance (and look) of the night.

LOW: John Legend’s withering stare. You gotta give it to him, John Legend tries very hard to look serious as Jesus Christ… it’s not his fault if he’s physically incapable of it!

LOW: John Legend’s extremely deep tank top. Only literally a low. Otherwise it was a high, and all the better to get sweaty with.

HIGH: John Legend’s performance of “Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say).” OK, so it was hard to adjust to thinking of Legend as Jesus, but you have to give it up for his knockout performance of this song.

HIGH: The priests’ geometric black coats. Just look at this gorgeous thing, designed by Paul Tazewell (Hamilton) – an homage to Issey Miyake’s Bao Bao bag!

HIGH: Norm Lewis as Caiaphas. With a voice deep enough to make it seem like the set was shaking – and a glare harsh enough to make us take his dyed cornrows seriously (see above).

… together with Jin Ha as Annas. Where Lewis goes low, Ha goes high. Listen to them gorgeously layer “he is dangerous” on top of one other around the one-minute mark. Mmm.

LOW: The audio mix. The performers kept getting drowned out by the music, the audience, and pretty much everything. It’s always fun to hear a vocal-dependent musical that sounds like it was recorded from inside Jesus’s wine bottle.

HIGH: The stripped-down staging. As the “In Concert” nomenclature implied, JCS was not as elaborately staged and filmed as other live TV musicals. That, and the visible audience gave this production more of a live theater vibe than previous NBC musicals, even if it was a little too reminiscent of Rent.

LOW: The commercials. Jesus died for our sins … and also so we could watch advertisements for the Apple X while watching a musical about him.

… yes, including John Legend’s Google commercial. Jesus loves our corporate overlords?

HIGH: The brevity. Granted, NBC elongated this musical with all the commercial breaks. But even so: clocking in at two hours and twenty minutes made the production crisper and more powerful than other TV musicals that drag on for three or more hours.

04 Apr 18:59

The CW Renews Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, and 8 More Shows

by Jordan Crucchiola
kfunk

More Crazy Ex! grinning But also last time we get more Crazy Ex! anguished

The CW is confident in its programming slate, so much so that the network just announced it will renew ten of its current shows. That means fans can now plan for more Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Riverdale, Supergirl, Supernatural, Black Lightning, Dynasty, and yes, Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, too. Four programs are still up in the air, however, as Life Sentence, Valor, iZombie, and The 100 are all still on the bubble. In the case of Jane the Virgin, the coming season will be the show’s fifth, and star Gina Rodriguez has suggested it would be the last.

Update: According to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom, the show’s upcoming fourth season will also be its last.

04 Apr 15:57

Eric Bana Will Devilishly Pursue Connie Britton in That Dirty John Anthology Series

by Devon Ivie
kfunk

WHAT THEY'RE TURNING DIRTY JOHN INTO TV HOLY HELL EVERYBODY LISTEN TO IT

Actor Eric Bana attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures'

Don’t you dare touch Connie’s gorgeous mane of ginger hair, Bana. Following Bravo’s announcement that Connie Britton was cast as interior designer Debra Newell in its upcoming Dirty John anthology series, THR has confirmed that Eric Bana will play the other lead role as titular con artist “Dirty” John Meehan. Without veering into spoiler territory, the series will explore the tumultuous relationship between Meehan and Newell, which slowly evolves into a real mess. The real-life story was the subject of the wildly popular 2017 Dirty John podcast from the Los Angeles Times’ Christopher Goffard, which is serving as Bravo’s main source material. We’re sure this story has a happy ending and nothing goes wrong at all!

04 Apr 14:53

Wild Wild Country Recap: Here Today, Oregon Tomorrow

by Brian Moylan
kfunk

who's watching? i'm three episodes in.

1

There are many shocking things about Wild Wild Country, Netflix’s documentary series about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (a.k.a. Osho), the spiritual leader who brought an army of his Rajneeshee followers to overrun the tiny town of Antelope, Oregon, in 1981. It’s a twisty story that goes to very shocking and unexpected places, so we’re going to try something a little different: Instead of typical recaps, we’ll highlight the most surprising discoveries unearthed by directors Chapman and MacLain Way after each installment of the six-part series.

Let’s get started, shall we? Here are the most intriguing and eye-opening details from Wild Wild Country, “Part 1”.

When we meet Bhagwan’s former personal secretary, she’s a chic, articulate, and attractive older woman living in a forest somewhere in Switzerland. We’re told she fled to West Germany in the ’80s in an attempt to avoid charges of fraud and attempted murder for some kind of poisoning. The poisoning itself is vaguely mentioned, and it’s not clear what led her to flee the United States in the first place. What could she have possibly done? What does it have to do with the Rajneeshees? And why is she Bhagwan’s “former” secretary?

The very first speech Sheela delivers in Wild Wild Country sets the tone for whatever did happen. “With every crown comes the guillotine. Without the guillotine you cannot wear the crown. And it was my fate,” she says. “But why does one have to put someone under the guillotine? Because of their strength. They want to destroy their strength. And in spite of guillotine, they haven’t killed me yet. They haven’t killed my spirit yet. No matter where I go, I will always wear a crown.” Yeah, I would let this woman cut me in line at the deli and I would still pay for her order.

Sheela says she first met Bhagwan at the age of 16, and her devotion is clear from the beginning: “I saw Bhagwan and that was the end of me.” However, Bhagwan also agreed to let Sheela live in the U.S. and get a college degree. While there, she married Mark, a nice Jewish man who made her laugh. When we see a photo of Sheela lounging in bed with him and reading Vogue, she looks less like a member of a cult and more like, well, so many American women in their 20s.

Sheela’s husband Mark was a total hottie, but, sadly, he died of cancer soon after their marriage. In Wild Wild County, all these years later, Sheela still wells up with tears talking about their relationship and how he was the love of her life. After Mark’s death, she says, Bhagwan told the doctors to put her to sleep for three days. Three days! When she woke up, Bhagwan told her, “That chapter of your life is over. Now you can throw yourself into the work.” Yeah, that sounds like a cult.

The Rajneeshee belief in “dynamic meditation” involves chaotic breathing followed by a round of emotional explosion where people can scream, shout, cry, and even beat up themselves or others. They also jump up and down and shout a primal “Hoo!” each time their feet touch the ground, like they’re seeing Daft Punk at Coachella. Then, everyone lies in silence somewhat like traditional meditation. The whole thing sounds, as the kids like to say, pretty extra.

In the footage of Bhagwan’s followers at the Poona ashram, they’re dressed in yellows, oranges, saffrons, and similar colors. But when we see footage of his followers greeting Bhagwan in Oregon, they’re all wearing red or maroon. Now, I don’t think I could ever be a part of a group that forced you to wear maroon. I mean, maroon! No one looks good in maroon. Not even Naomi Campbell in the ’90s could pull of maroon. What on Earth would make you want to wear that dastardly color all the time? And aesthetic objections aside, why hasn’t anybody in this documentary explained why they’re all dressed alike?

During their interviews, Sheela and the other Rajneeshees say Bhagwan encouraged the accumulation of wealth and didn’t believe that one needed to be poor to be pure, unlike so many other of the world’s more established religions. The canny capitalists they were, the Rajneeshees even developed their own banking system: Based on the footage of life at the ashram, they way they did their banking looked like an old card catalogue in a library. How does this even work? Can you exchange those cards like currency? Is this like cultish bitcoin? Is this what blockchain is really all about?

Directors Chapman and Maclain Way show archival footage of a community Christmas party in Antelope, which has a population of 40 people. On the counter during this party, we see roughly ten pies. First of all, those pies looked delicious and I want one. Second of all, how many pies could you possibly need for a town Christmas party when only 40 people are invited? Each person gets a whole quarter of a pie, and you know that Mary who works down at the post office doesn’t like sweets, so that means someone gets to eat an entire half of a pie. That is way too much pie!

31 Mar 20:41

You Wish Your Friends Left Instagram Comments As Nice As the Queer Eye Cast’s

by Hunter Harris
1

I don’t have much experience in earnest, unironically encouraging social-media comments from my closest friends. Hayley will let me choose restaurants that adhere to my specific diet of pasta and burgers, and Eliza will approve or veto a dozen outfit options before a party, but my friends drag me on the internet relentlessly. We’ve elevated it to an art form, really: Embarrassing each other online is our love language. It’s how we keep one another humble.

The men of Queer EyeAntoni, Tan, Bobby, Karamo, and Jonathan — do not speak this language. Their language is “Yaaaaasssss henny,” their dialect “snatched!” They’re the most supportive, loving community of friends on Instagram that I’ve ever seen. A selfie doesn’t go unliked, a highlight does not go unappreciated, a sexy pose does not go un-thirsted after. The comments they leave on each other’s photos are Pinterest and fortune-cookie-worthy. It’s hard enough to open your heart to this cold, cruel world (and harder still to share a selfie in it), so let’s take a moment to appreciate the most emotionally supportive clique Netflix has ever known.

Karamo to Jonathan: “Your spirt, your heart and your beauty are only 3 of the million qualities we love about you! We are all blessed because you are alive. Love you with all my heart. Have a happy birthday @jvn”

This is a moving, insightful, and deeply loving comment. Karamo is right: We are all better for Jonathan’s presence in the world (and our Netflix queue). Imagine that!

Antoni to Jonathan: “LOWER THE CAMERA!!!!”

Then, Antoni takes a different approach: Unabashed thirst! Let’s celebrate that too!

Tan to Karamo: “Mmm hmm. Look at that buttery soft skin [raised hands emoji]”

Tan would never miss an opportunity to compliment Karamo’s face.

Tan to Antoni: “I want it all!”

But go on, go on and take it alllllll!

Tan to Karamo: “Looking so handsom, boys!! KK, you look so ducking hot in that get-up! [raised hands emoji] [raised hands emoji]”

An important aside: Even Tan falls victim to autocorrect’s “ducking.”

Karamo to Bobby: “Yes Michael Jackson song ‘i’m talking to the man in the mirror’ You handsom devil!!!!! Love and miss you Bobby!”

When Bobby wants to give the fans a smolder, Karamo even has a song queued up! (Also, of course Bobby’s mirror is this chic.)

Jonathan to Karamo: “Oh honey she is leaning into her strength & her light. [heart eyes emoji] [heart eyes emoji]”

“She is leaning into her strength and her light” ought to be embroidered onto a pillow as soon as humanly possible. CC: Etsy.

Tan to Antoni: “Yep, yep, yep.”

Not every comment is a deep rumination on your personal worth and importance. A simple “yep, yep, yep” from Tan and you’re seen.

Karamo to Tan: “I want to frame these photos! This is art! You look so beautiful @tanfrance”

You know who frames photos? Moms frame photos. Grandmas frame photos. Friends who have enough money to regularly buy trinkets at Anthropologie frame photos. But Karamo will frame them too, when they’re photos of his favorite co-workers!

Tan to Jonathan: “This is literally the rudest thing you’ve ever done to me. I should be the one in your arms. The one you’re holding so close. The one you look so GOWJUSS for! [crying face emoji]”

GOWJUSS.

29 Mar 21:30

The Best Dupes for Alice Waters’s Hand-Forged Egg Spoon

by Maxine Builder
kfunk

oooo Anne, a highly politicized alternative to sous vide!

I am not ashamed to admit that I have been fully suckered into the romance of Alice Waters’s egg spoon, though that’s become a loaded statement in recent months. The hand-forged egg spoon has become a somewhat-unlikely symbol of kitchen feminism, after a piece in the New York Times positioned it as part of the “great food culture wars of the 21st century.” But even as a fan of the egg spoon, I do concede its inherent impracticality. To use it properly, you need access to an open, yet controlled, flame. Alice’s egg spoon also costs $250 from Permanent Collection, though even if you had the money, they’re out of stock. I also still don’t have a fireplace.

But my desire to be the kind of person who could casually crack a farm-fresh egg into a hand-forged cast-iron egg spoon whenever the mood strikes in order to fight the patriarchy is how I ended up scouring the internet for the best dupe for Alice Waters’s egg spoon. I started with Etsy because that’s where I’d expect to find artisanal egg spoons, but came up short. Ditto eBay. I revisited the original New York Times piece, to figure out how Waters found the egg spoon in the first place. She had it custom-made by her friend, a master blacksmith, but only after reading the book The Magic of Fire: Hearth Cooking: One Hundred Recipes for the Fireplace or Campfire.

That’s when I started looking into camping cookware, a hunt hurried along by a detail in Tamar Adler’s Grub Street Diet, in which she uses a hand-forged egg spoon. Adler used to own “little campfire pie irons, which you can buy at any hardware store, and they worked just as well” as her hand-forged one. The OG manufacturer of these cast-iron pie irons is an Illinois-based company called Rome Industries, and it’s been making this long-handled cast-iron camping cookware since the 1960s. The pie irons would definitely do the trick if you’re looking for a makeshift egg spoon; they’re basically mini–waffle irons on the ends of long sticks, to be used when making sandwiches or pies at a campground. If you just used one-half of one? Bam, you’ve got an egg spoon.

But the most convincing dupe for Waters’s egg spoon in its collection is the Family Campfire Skillet. It’s a handsome, egg-size skillet at the end of a long stick, just like Alice’s. The biggest difference seems to be aesthetic. The handle is much longer — 39 inches on the Rome skillet to Waters’s 16 or so — and is covered in wood, rather than left raw. But it’s only $23 on Amazon, a tenth of the cost of the original, and that is a price I can afford, especially since I don’t know when I’m going to have a chance to use it.

If you also don’t have access to an open-flame, here are some other viable substitutes for Alice Waters’s egg spoon.

Maybe fire’s not for you, and that’s all right. Get techy with your fussy egg-cooking methods, and buy a sous-vide machine. You’ll still get great results. Grub Street editor Alan Sytsma tested two of the most popular sous-vide cookers for us a while back and loved how they cooked his eggs: “Silky. Soft. Smooth like you can’t believe. Took, like, 20 minutes total, and I’m never going back to the old way again.” He slightly preferred the Joule over the Anova because of the size, but noted, “you’re going to get great food with either one.”

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29 Mar 09:22

Kitten Brothers Do The Cutest Thing So They'll Be Adopted Together

by Caitlin Jill Anders
kfunk

kitten content

Marlow and Mittens were two tiny kittens found together as strays — but no one realized just how close they really were.  

From the moment they arrived at the RSPCA’s shelter, staff could see that the pair were attached, but they decided they would have a better chance of finding forever homes if they posted about them separately and didn't require that they be adopted out together. The sweet kitten brothers, however, had other plans. 

Credit: Grace Serena

When Grace Serena and her partner saw Marlow’s face on the RSPCA’s website, they immediately knew he was the kitten for them and decided to go in to meet him. They had no idea that Marlow had a brother — but when the couple arrived, the little kittens quickly set a plan in motion to make sure they wouldn’t be separated. 

Marlow and Mittens put on their cutest faces, snuggled up to each other fiercely … 

Credit: Grace Serena

… and snuggled up to their new potential parents as well, essentially sealing the deal. 

“They did mention that this particular pair were closer than most, but were definitely willing to adopt them out separately,” Serena told The Dodo. “I myself was attached to Marlow, and my partner Jake was extremely fond of Mittens. After a long and hard deliberation, we decided it was either no cats or both cats, and let’s be honest, no cats is NEVER a good idea.” 

Credit: Grace Serena

Initially, the couple had decided to adopt a kitten because Jake was going through a rough time emotionally. As soon as they met Marlow and Mittens, though, all reasoning evaporated, and all they could think about was getting the inseparable kittens out of the shelter, and giving them a place where they could cuddle together for the rest of their lives. 

“We almost forgot entirely about our initial reason for getting a new pet, and adopted them out of pure love and utter cuteness,” Serena said. 

Credit: Grace Serena

As soon as Marlow and Mittens arrived in their new home and realized they were staying together, they were absolutely overjoyed … 

Credit: Grace Serena

… and decided to celebrate by cuddling, of course.

Credit: Grace Serena

“After getting them home, I was expecting them to both be quite anxious about their change of environment,” Serena said. “I have adopted pets before and usually the first 24 hours you find that your new pet is hiding somewhere they ‘feel safe’ and they won't come out until they have absorbed the new scents and surroundings. These two were the polar opposite. They were initially inquisitive and then immediately made themselves right at home on our bed. They immediately claimed the place as their own and seemed extremely comfortable in their new home.”

Credit: Grace Serena

It’s been about a week since Marlow and Mittens arrived in their new home, and the new little family couldn’t be happier with how things worked out. Even though the couple had only been planning on adopting one kitten, the sweet brothers quickly changed their minds, and everyone involved is so glad they did. 

“They have been an absolute blessing for my partner who was experiencing a few hardships recently,” Serena said. “They have brought so much joy, laughter and happiness into this household and I honestly couldn't be happier with our decision to adopt them both.” 

28 Mar 20:02

The Best TripAdvisor Reviews of the Sex Cult From Wild Wild Country

by Kathryn VanArendonk
kfunk

anybody watched this yet? it's in my queue...

1

The new Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country explores the history of the Rajneeshee cult, a group of New Agey maroon-wearing followers of an Indian guru named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The documentary begins with the original Rajneeshee ashram in Pune, India, and then spends most of its six episodes following the very strange story of the cult’s time in Oregon. One thing you discover at the end of the series, though, is that the cult leader, Rajneesh (called Osho by many of his followers), returned to India at the end of his life and went back to the original meditation center he founded in Pune.

Another thing you learn is that the Osho International Meditation Resort and Guesthouse is still very much an operational meditation center and tourist destination!

And there are lots of reviews of it on TripAdvisor!

Overall, the Osho Meditation Resort has a 4.0/5 rating with 134 reviews. (It’s worth noting that one of the negative reviewers suggests some of the more positive reviews are written by Osho staff members.) Wild Wild Country introduces the Rajneeshees as a cult mostly focused on adoring the guru Osho, dancing, possibly drugging homeless people with Haldol without their knowledge, capitalism, wearing maroon, and having lots of sex. TripAdvisor reviewers suggest that the capitalism part, at least, is still a part of the Osho worldview:

From a British traveler in 2014:

As many reviewers have previously commented, this place really is ruined by the blatant commercialism and extortionate additional costs … I came away feeling like if they could charge you for air, they would.

I have nothing against places like this charging money from guests, the facilities are in fact very good and beautiful, but the problem is they make you feel extremely awkward at every step you take there: you must BUY overpriced marron and white robes to circulate in there, if you want to use the swimming pool, there’s an extra charge, and you can’t leave the swimming pool and come back on the same day without paying again, and you must also buy marron swim wear.

Osho is clear that only when people pay for meditation do they appreciate it. To the ‘ashram’ mind this will of course appear to be ‘blatant commercial exploitation’ – but Osho has no interest in the opinions of the ‘ashram mind.’ Anyone really interested in the key to Osho’s approach, meditation, would obviously appreciate more than ten hours of meditation for the price of couple of movie tickets.

It was a meditation focused around laughing. We walked into the main auditorium and sat on the floor and when the gong went everyone started laughing – for 15 minutes! It felt a bit weird to me, but I had a go and kept laughing as required – although kept thinking that I was in a rather strange place …

 

The evening session required the white robe to be worn, and it involved more dancing. Then there was a video of the guru (who died several years ago), giving a talk about his views on things. I cannot write what he spoke about because I’m not allowed, and I found the video distasteful.

Dancing around, breathing heavily, screaming, talking gibberish, laughing, punching the air etc were (it seems, though we had NO explanation around the objective) all to do with releasing frustration etc, but once you’ve done that a few times, I didn’t have much more anger to get out (apart from all the anger at the standards of Osho itself, but screaming wasn’t going to solve it. I hope this review does.)

When I then sat down to check on a computer in the reception lobby if I can leave any feedback I was able to access other peoples log in pages including their address details and the results of their HIV tests. when I pointed this out to a member of staff ( as this is not really very protective of clients confidentiality) they started telling me off for using the computer which was situated in the middle of the lobby and had no sign on it to say I was not allowed to.

 

… there is no clear explanation as to why a HIV test is compulsory. A well hidden link on the website leads to a rambling and nonsensical essay written by Osho on the subject of aids. But that’s about it. There’s nothing in the meditation programme about the exchange of bodily fluids, nor does this seem to be encouraged, so why on EARTH do all guests have to take this test?!

The temperature and design of the Osho Auditorium where the meditations happen were to Osho’s specifications. Then people don’t need to go to the Himalayas, he explains, where the environment would anyway be destroyed by so many visitors.

Tis is not a place you judge by normal “hotel” or “resort” standards. It is a high-quality place of a meditation experience. If you just want 5-star luxury, go to another place – this is a place for experience and adventure – but so rewarding.

I heard that Osho center is different from other yoga places, but when experiencing, I found the major differences are: Osho’s self re-discovery methodology, the great energetic vibes in every corner of the center, also the people who are very friendly and joyful so that you will calm yourself immediately once you start the sessions. People said that the center charges too much, however, compared to the session quality & the spirit of this resort, I would say avg Rs1500 for a day is actually superb valued deal!

Year after year, each time … has felt like the first time ! Rebirth !! Excellent , in every respect, is too mild a term … If there is paradise on Earth, one really wonders, where else it could be ? And, my review is not going to help too much … Till you taste it, you’ll never, ever gain a single clue about this inexpressible splendour …. If you haven’t been here yet, you are yet to arrive …

This place is not for spiritual fools who visit india and think that meditation is free.

as osho said ‘let them all take care of the poor. I will take care of the rich’.

If you cannot afford this place or you think that that being spiritual is love compassion and all that nonsense KEEP AWAY

I read in my lonley planet book that this place was $70 a night. After buying robes and taking aids test, I dropped way more money than I wanted to spend. It was a beautiful area with awesome buildings. But, there was a orientation that lasted for 3 hours. I wasn’t feeling well and was asking to go lay down. I had to wait to get my key pad back and talk to 7 different people. I felt like I was in a cult and I wanted out!

28 Mar 01:47

Fat Cat Stealing Food Gets Stuck In The Doggy Door And Can’t Get Out… Oh My Goodness!!

by The Meow Blog
kfunk

old story but goliath is internet celebrity and #vimportantcatcontent

Cats sure do get themselves into some tricky situations, such as this super big feral cat that recently got himself stuck in a doggy door! When Goliath, the adorable fat cat in this video, spent weeks stealing food from a Gresham garage, he found himself stuck in a doggy door and unable to get out.

Lucky for Goliath, the homeowner came to his rescue and helped maneuver him out of the doggy door, and even fed him a delicious meal, before bringing him to the Oregon Humane Society. Soon after he was even rescued and adopted into a new home!

Goliath is very lucky to have been saved by such a kind homeowner! Watch the video below!

We love this fat cat! Be sure to share this video with your family and friends if you do too!

The post Fat Cat Stealing Food Gets Stuck In The Doggy Door And Can’t Get Out… Oh My Goodness!! appeared first on The Meow Blog.

27 Mar 15:01

Amy Poehler Is Directing Wine Country And It Stars All Her Cool Friends

by Jordan Crucchiola

26 Mar 17:37

You outta know how to ‘Morrissette’ your significant other to tears

by Tess Cagle
kfunk

i mean the only response is a dave coulier-esque "Cut. It. Out!"

alanis morissette meme

Actress Lisa Rieffel inspired hundreds of wives and girlfriends with a new way to drive their partners crazy; it’s called “Morissette-ing.”

Rieffel found the ultimate form of spousal torment: she unrelentingly sang Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” at random, inopportune moments for over a month.

Fortunately, Rieffel collected footage throughout the month of her husband’s reactions, so viewers get to watch Dunn slowly move from intentionally ignoring his wife as she belts out the song lyrics to actually begging her to “please stop” by the end of the month.

Since the video was first shared on March 21, it has been watched over 1.5 million times on Twitter. Rieffel has already left an impact on a few marriages, with women tweeting to the actress that they’ve begun to “Morissette” their partners, too.

Others have pointed out just how amazingly Rieffel nails her Morissette impression.

Meanwhile, Dunn has been responding to his wife and other folks on Twitter in the best way possible.

Sounds like Dunn really “oughta know” better by now. 

The post You outta know how to ‘Morrissette’ your significant other to tears appeared first on The Daily Dot.

26 Mar 16:17

What’s Leaving Netflix: April 2018

by Andrew Lapin
kfunk

batman marathon, anyone?

Because it’s a classic Dad Movie: Apollo 13

Dad Movies — historical dramas about dudes, usually in either war or space, usually played by Tom Hanks — get a bad rap, but when they’re done well they can be so satisfying. Case in point: This 1995 nail-biter about the infamous NASA lunar mission gone catastrophically wrong, after an explosion forces its three-man crew to abandon all hope of reaching the moon and just pray they live to see Earth again. Director Ron Howard, who’s often unfairly maligned for his meat-and-potatoes sensibilities, knocks every emotion here out of the park, particularly in the moment when Hanks’s Jim Lovell catches a final glimpse of the moon he’ll never get to walk on. Leaving April 1.

Because it’s Christopher Nolan’s best movie: The Prestige

Dunkirk was a spectacular feat of filmmaking, and we forget Memento at our own peril, but history will reveal this twisty-turny magician fake-out as the best Christopher Nolan film. None of his other efforts so effectively combine a slick narrative, a stellar acting ensemble, and thrilling crowd-pleasing technique. (Yes, the parallels between magicians and movie directors are inescapable.) With the addition of David Bowie’s otherworldly turn as Nikola Tesla, The Prestige truly meets all-timer status for its ability to turn anxieties about emerging technology into timeless myth. Leaving April 21.

If you love Banksy … or if you don’t: Exit Through the Gift Shop

The art world hasn’t gotten any less ridiculous since Banksy let the air out of its tires in his 2010 documentary, although the anonymous street artist himself has become a meme and an easy punchline for describing the self-consciously hip scene. (“Is that Banksy?” you mumbled to yourself whenever you see some pretty stencils.) In other words, he’s let himself morph into Mr. Brainwash, but watching the original Frankenstein’s monster of underground art bumble his way around blatantly generic copies of his hero’s aesthetic is still entertaining. Leaving April 22.

• 30 Days of Night
• 88 Minutes
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
• Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
American Pie
• American Pie 2
Apollo 13
Batman (1989)
• Batman Returns
• Batman Forever
• Batman & Robin
Caddyshack
• Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Cool Runnings
• Death Sentence
Dolphin Tale
• The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Eagle vs. Shark
• The Men Who Stare at Goats
John Mulaney: New in Town
Never Let Me Go
• The Pursuit of Happyness
• Set Up
The Shawshank Redemption
Small Soldiers
• Wild Wild West
• The Whole Nine Yards

• Starry Eyes

• The Hallow
• The Nightingale

The Emperor’s New Clothes

• Happy Tree Friends
• Leap Year

Son of God

Z Storm

The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

The Prestige

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Kung Fu Panda 3

Begin Again

23 Mar 20:25

Ideas You Consume

by swissmiss

“What you think is a function of the ideas you consume.”
Faris

Excellent read: How to balance your media diet.

23 Mar 14:48

Please Send Your Heartfelt Condolences to Henry Cavill, Who Shaved His Mission: Impossible Mustache

by Hunter Harris

Because all good and pure things must come to an end, Henry Cavill has shaved the mustache he grew for Mission: Impossible – Fallout. In a video captioned with “#ShavedButNotForgotten,” Cavill announced the departure of his mouth brow: “This is not CGI. He’s really gone,” Cavill said, referencing the fact that this wee bit of facial hair became Justice League’s blessing and burden (he wasn’t allowed to shave it, and it had to be digitally removed for JL reshoots). Roses are red, long live Smash and also Henry Cavill’s furry mustache.

23 Mar 14:31

Matt Bomer Buys Out Hometown Showing of Love, Simon

by Anne Victoria Clark
kfunk

aww

For Your Consideration Event For FX's

Matt Bomer, the Magic Mike and American Horror Story star, wants to make sure everyone in his hometown has the chance to see the film Love, Simon. Now, he’s not in the movie or anything, he actually just loves it that much. Not a surprise considering the film has been praised by critics as “a modern classic for today’s generation.”

Bomer and his husband Simon Halls bought out the AMC in Spring, Texas, on March 25, and invited anyone who wished to attend via an Instagram post. Previously, Bomer has talked about growing up closeted in a very religious family. He also took to Instagram right after the film’s premiere to praise it for its representation, writing “I’m so happy that a generation of young people will have this to watch and realize that #loveisloveisloveislove” No, I’m not crying, it’s allergies.

22 Mar 21:35

Secret Bill Cunningham Memoir To Be Published This September

by Jordan Crucchiola
kfunk

!!!

Chloe : Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015

In a most surprising twist, the beloved late photographer Bill Cunningham — who shot fashion and society photographs for The New York Times for more than 40 years — left behind a memoir before his passing in 2016, and it’s going to publication. The famed street style shooter was the subject of a 2010 documentary called Bill Cunningham New York, but was otherwise a very private figure, so the discovery of an autobiographical work surprised even his family and friends. It covers much of his life from his childhood in Boston to his term of service in the Korean War to his arrival in New York and evolution from milliner to journalist. The Times published a selection of advanced quotes from the book, including this one about butting up against the expectations of his strict Catholic family as a young boy.

“There I was, 4 years old, decked out in my sister’s prettiest dress,” reads the memoir’s second sentence. “Women’s clothes were always much more stimulating to my imagination. That summer day, in 1933, as my back was pinned to the dining room wall, my eyes spattering tears all over the pink organdy full-skirted dress, my mother beat the hell out of me, and threatened every bone in my uninhibited body if I wore girls’ clothes again.”

22 Mar 21:18

Vulture Just Got a Little More Splitsider

by Jesse David Fox
kfunk

ooo

Splitsider has always been a meaningful internet outpost for me. When founding editor Adam Frucci launched the site in 2010, he created something I didn’t know I desperately had been looking for: a place for people who take comedy seriously. I wasn’t a comedy nerd growing up, because there really wasn’t such a thing. Splitsider helped define what it meant to be a comedy superfan. That’s why it was the first place I pitched stories when I started in journalism. And why, after writing there from 2011–2012, it was their sensibility and way of covering comedy that I tried to bring to Vulture’s audience. And that why it’s really special for me to be able to tell you that Splitsider is joining the Vulture family, following our recent acquisition of the site.

Since starting at Vulture, I’ve tried to expand people’s understanding of how comedy comes together — through stories like my profile of a day at Late Night With Seth Meyers, the oral history of The SimpsonsPlanet of the Apes musical, and my Good One podcast — with the hope of having others see comedy the way comedians do. That makes Splitsider a natural fit for Vulture, because for my last five years here, we’ve already been providing a version of it. In the short term, while Vulture migrates the entirety of Splitsider’s archive — yes, the entirety of it; nothing will be lost — Splitsider.com is going to operate essentially as it has, under editor Megh Wright. Then, in May, we’ll launch an expanded comedy presence that reflects what both Splitsider and Vulture do best.

The goal is to build upon what each site has done to define the future of comedy journalism, be it written, video, audio, events, or something that hasn’t been invented yet. Maybe a version of comedy journalism you could eat? Who’s to say? Megh and I, along with Splitsider’s tremendous stable of columnists and Vulture’s robust list of comedian and comedy-adjacent contributors, will have at our disposal the resources and access to bring what Splitsider started to a new level, without losing what was established.

We will share more details as we get closer to the launch. Until then, we are excited.

21 Mar 14:21

Steven Spielberg Will Start Filming Indiana Jones 5 Next Year

by Halle Kiefer
kfunk

nope nope nope nope nope

That’s what you love about these Indiana Jones movies, man. Harrison Ford gets older. International archaeological adventures stay the same age. While attending the Rakuten TV Empire Awards in London, Variety reports that Steven Spielberg announced plans to shoot the upcoming Indiana Jones sequel next year, with at least part of the filming set to take place in England. “It’s always worth the trip when I get to work with this deep bench of talent coming out of the UK,” the director said while accepting a Legend of Our Lifetime award.

“The actors, and the crew, the chippies, the sparks, the drivers — everybody who has helped me make my movies here, and will continue helping me make my movies here when I come back in April 2019 to make the fifth Indiana Jones movie right here.” IJ5 is currently scheduled for release on July 10, 2020. While the fifth franchise installment doesn’t have a title yet, its screenwriter David Koepp told Entertainment Weekly last fall that Shia LaBeouf’s character Mutt Williams will not be returning for the sequel. So, Indiana Jones and That Son We’re All Going To Forget I Have is at least in the running.

21 Mar 14:21

Man Reunites With Beloved Cat Who Went Missing 14 Years Ago

by Stephen Messenger
A lot can change in 14 years, but some things never do — like the love shared between two old friends.

In 2004, Perry Martin was living on the coast of Florida when the state was hit by Hurricane Jeanne, the deadliest storm that year. Amid the chaos and confusion, Martin lost someone very dear to him — his cherished cat, named Thomas Jr., or T-2 for short. The then-4-year-old cat had escaped from home and was nowhere to be seen.

"I was devastated," Martin told The Dodo. "I looked everywhere for him. I had neighbors looking for him. I spent all of my free time just looking."

As time passed with still no sight of T-2, Martin resigned himself to the notion that his cat was really gone forever.

But he was wrong.

Credit: Perry Martin

More than a decade had passed since then, but Martin never forgot about his beloved pet, whom he never tried to replace with another cat. He knew that even if T-2 had managed to survive the aftermath of the storm, he'd be well into his golden years at age 18. For Martin, that seemed unlikely.

"I was sure he must have passed away," he said.

But then, just last week, Martin got a call he never expected. It was from his cat's old veterinarian. A stray cat had been rescued from the streets, and he had a microchip

"They said, ‘Perry, what would you say if I told you somebody found T-2?’ I said, ‘Well, I’d probably tell you that you’re crazy.' She says, ‘Well, the humane society has him. We verified it with his microchip.’"

Martin, suspecting that there had been some mistake, drove to the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast just in case.

"I didn’t believe it. After 14 years?" Martin said. "But it was him. As soon as I saw his face, I knew it was him."

T-2 seemed to know who Martin was, too; his old friend whom he'd become separated from 14 years earlier. Now, they were finally reunited.

Credit: Humane Society of the Treasure Coast

It's only been about a week since Martin and T-2 rejoined each other's lives — but things couldn't be better. The two old friend have lots of catching up to do, and they're not wasting any time getting started.

"T-2 hasn’t left my side. He’s been sitting on my lap and following me everywhere," Martin said. "Believe it or not, he’s actually purring. I haven’t heard a cat purring for 14 years. I have the feeling that he knows he’s home."

Despite being 18 years old now, and having apparently spent much of those 14 years living on the streets, T-2 is in decent health. He's a little thin and wobbly, but Martin is optimistic T-2 will recover now that he's safely back where he belongs.

And Martin knows just what to thank for that — the microchip that made the reunion possible.

"Get your pet microchipped. It doesn’t cost much," he said. "If you take the initiative to do that, make sure you also keep the information updated. I had moved around in the years that T-2 was gone. Update the info, even if you think they’re gone forever."

21 Mar 00:23

The Tag Trailer Shows a Wonderful World Where Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress Hang Out

by Jordan Crucchiola

It feels almost impossible to put a unique spin on the buddy comedy at this point, but Tag may have done it. Based on the true story of a group of friends who have been playing one continuous game of tag for decades, the aptly named new movie stars Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress, and Jake Johnson as the gang who spends one month of each year reviving their tradition and have decided that it’s time for their only never-been-tagged pal (Renner) to get his due. Along the way there will be laughs, cries, and surely a fair amount of secondhand embarrassment as the men go to great lengths to get the jump on each other. Tag smacks into theaters on June 15.

20 Mar 19:05

Cynthia Nixon Formally Announces Run for New York Governor

by Jackson McHenry
kfunk

whoa

Actress Cynthia Nixon speaks onstage at The People's State Of The Union at Townhall on January 29, 2018 in New York City.

What a future Miranda Hobbes has ended up having. Today, after months of rumors, actor Cynthia Nixon formally announced her run for governor of New York, going up against incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary. Nixon released a video with her announcement, which emphasizes her focus on education policy, income inequality, and public transportation (the subtext of the ad might as well be “I’ll fix the subways”). Nixon would come at Cuomo from the left and has the support of political operatives Bill Hyers and Rebecca Katz, who worked on Bill de Blasio’s first campaign for New York City mayor. The primary isn’t until September, which gives plenty of time for everyone to argue how the characters on Sex and the City would vote.

20 Mar 19:02

If Nothing Else, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Will Give Us Costume Porn

by Tom and Lorenzo
kfunk

i'm so sad about these spinoffs because OF COURSE i will see them. i will check out anything that has the barest whif of that original HP magic. but that first one really felt so soulless and i'm sad this one will too, regardless of the candy coated shell.

We’d hardly call ourselves hardcore Potterverse fans, but it seems to us there’s more than a bit of fan unrest regarding this picture. From the apparent light de-gaying of the Dumbledore character to the rather poor attempts at explaining why the film cast Johnny Depp in the title role, it feels more and more like this one’s coming out of the gate with a strong headwind against it.

We can’t say we have strong feelings about it either way, since the first Fantastic Beasts film was little more than a charming bit of forgettable fantasy, from where we were sitting. But no matter how ambivalent we may have been about the sequel or how irritating we tend to find Eddie Redmayne or how questionable we find the appeal of Johnny Depp…

 

 

 

 

 

…it sure is pretty to look at.

What can we say? That lovely clash of early 20th Century clothing styles with fantasy design tropes is our costume design sweet spot. It gets us all a-tingle, darlings – but only when it’s done well. Fortunately, they handed the reins over to highly lauded and awarded costume designer Colleen Atwood, who knows a thing or two about how to spin a believable fantasy out of costume design.

 

Also, Jude Law is looking FOINE, which is a bit of a double-edged sword, because he’s basically Hot, But Sexless Dumbledore in this one, if the rumors are to be believed. Oh, well. We’ll just look at the clothes.

 

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the second of five all new adventures in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World™.

At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

The film features an ensemble cast led by Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, with Jude Law and Johnny Depp. The cast also includes, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Carmen Ejogo, and Poppy Corby-Tuech.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling. The film is produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

Slated for release on November 16, 2018, the film will be distributed worldwide in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment.

[Photo Credit: Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. – Video Credit: via YouTube.com]

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