Nas Docu Kicks Off Tribeca Film Festival

It may have been the most New York moment in years. Robert De Niro, onstage last night at the Beacon Theatre, introduced “Time Is Illmatic,” the new documentary on the 1994 landmark debut of Nas (pictured), “Illmatic,” to kick off the Tribeca Film Festival. (The fest kicked off on the Upper West Side: huh?) “Twenty years ago, I would’ve been 20 years too old for this music,” quipped the actor and festival co-founder to a boisterous crowd of fans, media and seemingly every important hip-hop figure in mid-Nineties New York. Unlike music docs that Read more »

Louvre To Re-Open 18th-Century Galleries

When I lived in Paris, I used to haunt the Louvre’s 18th-century rooms and pretend that the Vicomte de Valmont was sitting in those chaises. The rooms have been closed to the public since 2005. Now, the museum is preparing to reopen its 18th-century galleries on June 6, after nearly a decade of renovation work. The old rooms did not meet with security standards and the installation, “stylish in the 1960s, was out-dated,” says Jannic Durand, the head of the museum’s decorative-arts department. Since when is the 18th century supposed to be up-to-the-minute?

“Mrs. Doubtfire” To Get A Sequel

For some reason the Scottish accent of Mrs. Doubtfire, played by Robin Williams, frequently pops up in my brain. And it can be as hard to banish from the brain as “Rose’s Turn” or the overture from “Don Giovanni.” That accent is about to be foisted upon us anew. A sequel to the 1993 comedy is in the works, re-teaming Williams with director Chris Columbus.

Cannes Announces Official Selections

Tommy Lee Jones, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg and Atom Egoyan will duke it out with Jean-Luc Godard, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, Michel Hazanavicius and the Dardenne brothers for the Palme d’Or at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, which unveiled its official selection lineup this morning in Paris by fest topper Thierry Fremaux. The wide-ranging competition slate is typically heavy on French filmmakers, with Olivier Assayas’ international co-production “Clouds of Sils Maria” and Bertrand Bonello’s fashion-designer biopic “Saint Laurent” joining Hazanavicius’ “The Search” and Godard’s 3D experiment “Goodbye to Language.” Fremaux noted that Godard, famously a no-show at the 2010 Cannes premiere of his “Film socialisme,” had “promised he’ll be there — which doesn’t mean he will!”

“Orange Is The New Black”‘s’ Kohan Details Frustrating Negotiations to Get Actors Naked

There’s a lot to be said about “Orange is the New Black,” which returns for a second season on June 6. But when the Netflix series’ creator, Jenji Kohan, took the stage at Wednesday’s Hollywood Radio and Television Society lunch, the conversation kept circling nudity. Netflix, she said, is thus far not giving her many obstacles — though there was one. “We have some male-frontal nudity this season,” she said, “but I don’t think it’s going to be erect.” There will be plenty of female nudity this season.

“Transcendence” Is Fatally Earth-Bound

I guess there’s a reason why “Transcendence,” starring Johnny Depp, hasn’t been reviewed sooner — it opens tomorrow. According to Variety (here and here), the movie “is a most curious name for a movie that never shakes free from those hoary old cliches about the evils of technology and the danger by which man plays at becoming a god. The man in question here is Depp, whose listless lead performance as a brilliant scientist in the field of artificial intelligence does little to aid this overplotted, dramatically undernourished debut feature from longtime Christopher Nolan d.p. Wally Pfister.”

Should Artists Boycott Putin’s Russia?

In a recent interview, according to the Guardian, ‘the choreographer Matthew Bourne stated that he wouldn’t, under present political circumstances, consider going to Russia with his celebrated production of “Swan Lake.” Given the precarious legal status of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Russia, Bourne says he would be afraid for the welfare of his dancers, several of whom are openly gay. And he would presumably be nervous of the reception given to his production, considering the way it retells the original ballet as the story of an insecure young prince in thrall to a charismatic male swan.’ The Guardian’s writer goes on to argue that artists should not boycott Russia, lest we return to the Cold War days of isolation for Read more »