But again, strangely, Lumet only appears in the last breaths of the film, as do the host of other women who were assaulted by Simmons, including Alexia Norton Jones, Kelly Cutrone, Tina Baker, Keri Claussen Khalighi, and an anonymous woman cast in shadow. Their stories are braided together with solemn, sparse music from composer Terence Blanchard, underscoring the heavy mood. In concert, they paint an intricate portrait of women forced to navigate the whims of men in a patriarchal culture that refuses to listen, let alone believe the voices of survivors — most pointedly, of black survivors, the documentary reminds us. In that vein, despite its faults, On the Record is a necessary social document. … [Read more...] about Is Imperfect, Provocative, and Utterly Necessary
Dixon was a rising star in the rap world — she was responsible for Method Man and Mary J. Blige’s “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need to Get By” and hits by Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, and many more — and, in addition to what she told the Times, she recounts that the first time Simmons was inappropriate with her was in a restaurant, where he accosted her outside of the bathroom, pulled her into a closet and tried to kiss her. She resisted that advance, but then he started repeatedly harassing her in her office. … [Read more...] about The 8 Accusations Against Russell Simmons Detailed in
Wedding CrashingTaylor Swift’s wedding-crasher encouragements aren’t limited to her songs (“Speak Now”: “Don’t say yes, run away now / I’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door”). When she was dating Conor Kennedy, they decided to crash his cousin Kyle’s wedding to Liam Kerry completely uninvited. She was asked to leave but decided not to, according to wedding guest Kathie Lee Gifford, whose grandson was the groom: “They asked her to leave twice. I thought she did …. I’m not sure she didn’t know that she wasn’t invited.” Taylor also occasionally shows up on network television to break up ficitonal weddings. (See below.) … [Read more...] about From Becky to Maple Lattes: Presenting Vulture’s Taylor Swift Glossary
Lagaan (Netflix)Lagaan is one of my favorite films of all time, and I just discovered it was on Netflix. It’s a great stepping stone for getting into Bollywood cinema, because it is not just a musical, it’s a sports movie, too! It’s also 15 minutes longer than The Irishman, which is a further bonus. During the days of the British raj, a drought-stricken Indian village can’t pay its taxes (lagaan), so hunky Bhuvan (Aamir Khan) challenges the evil Brits to a cricket match. If they win, no taxes for three years. If they lose, they have to pay triple lagaan. By the end of it you will not be able to stop yourself from singing “Ghanan Ghanan” and you will also know all the rules of cricket. A win-win! … [Read more...] about The 59 Best Movies to Watch With Your Parents During Quarantine
A testament to just how plausible the Baby Yoda puppet looked came from an unlikely source: Werner Herzog. Director Deborah Chow remembers that when she was shooting the show’s third episode, Herzog was acting opposite the baby and at one point “forgot that it was a puppet.” “He got so into the baby that he started directing the baby directly, as though he was talking to a person,” Chow says. “He doesn’t realize the puppeteers are actually the ones. He fell in love with it.” (Later in the Disney Gallery episode, Herzog describes the baby as “heartbreakingly beautiful.”) … [Read more...] about Baby Yoda Wasn’t Always So Cute, Huh?