Tom Hanks & Emma Watson In “The Circle”

Variety says: ‘”The Circle” is a swankly sinister little mind teaser of a thriller. It’s a nightmare vision of what digital culture is turning all of us into, with all of our help. The movie, adapted from Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel and directed by James Ponsoldt (“The End of the Tour”), is about a corporation called The Circle that stores massive amounts of data — financial, medical, social, personal — about each of the account holders who belong to it. The company, based in the Bay Area, knows everything there is to know Read more »

Sylvan Esso: “What Now”

Pitchfork proclaims: ‘The sophomore album from the electronic pop duo offers a biting, withering take on pop music, full of crisp humor while still finding real moments of tenderness.’

R.I.P., Jonathan Demme

So sad to hear about the passing of the Jonathan Demme, who was one of the buzziest directors of the ’80s and early ’90s (Melvin and Howard, Something Wild, The Silence of The Lambs, Philadelphia). Demme died yesterday in New York City from esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. The cancer hit him in 2010, recurred two years ago, and then advanced in force over the last few weeks.

From “Showgirls” To Lesbian Nuns!

Paul Verhoeven’s next project will beBlessed Virgin,” which will see the director re-team with producer Said Ben Said and actress Virginie Efira from “Elle” on a film about a lesbian nun. (Verhoeven also directed the classic “Showgirls.”) The new French-language project was revealed late Tuesday night in a tweet by Said and confirmed by production company SBS on Wednesday. In “Blessed Virgin,” Belgian actress Efira, who had a key role in “Elle,” will play a 17th-century nun who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. A companion is assigned to assist her through these visions, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic affair.

Aretha/Dionne: Should This Be Next “Feud”?

Aretha Franklin on Tuesday re­ignited a five-year feud with fellow singing star ­Dionne Warwick over comments Warwick made at the 2012 funeral of Whitney Houston. The Queen of Soul blasted Warwick for spinning a “libelous” story about Franklin’s absence from the New Jersey funeral service and about Aretha being Houston’s godmother. Franklin went public last week about the feud after Warwick spotted her at the Tribeca Film Festival and tried to make amends. “She said, ‘Give me a hug,’ ” Aretha recalled. “I said, ‘Oh hell no. You couldn’t be serious.’  We’ve never been friends and I don’t think that Dionne has ever liked me.” In a statement, Warwick’s rep said she would not “dignify a response” to Aretha’s remarks.

Artist Marisol Leaves Estate To Buffalo Gallery

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery‘s lucky streak continued Wednesday with the announcement of another major gift that will reshape the institution for future generations. Less than a year after the gallery received the largest single financial donation in its history, officials announced that the gallery has received its largest single donation of art: The vast and lucrative estate of pop artist and Buffalo favorite Marisol, who died last April. The estate includes more than 100 sculptures, some 150 works on paper, thousands of photographs and the artist’s New York City loft apartment. The impending sale of that apartment, worth an estimated $4 million to $5 million, will bolster the gallery’s endowment as it heads into its first major expansion in more than 50 years.

“Damning” New Movie About Whitney

The title of Nick Broomfield’s new documentary about Whitney Houston echoes a question she often asked herself: “Can I be me?” Apparently, she often could not. According to Broomfield’s damning film, Houston had to repress her true self throughout much of her life, due to a perfect storm of factors, which included her controlling mother, Cissy Houston; her pushy record company, Arista; her co-dependent husband, Bobby Brown; her conflicted sexuality; and the mountain of drugs she used to blot all of that out. “Whitney: Can I Be Me?” – which has its premiere at the Tribeca film festival this week – pivots Read more »