TIME Music

Former Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dies of Liver Disease

North Sea Jazz Festival 2012 - Day 1
Jack Bruce performs on stage during North Sea Jazz Festival at Ahoy on July 6, 2012 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Rob Verhorst—Redferns via Getty Images

The 71-year-old former bassist for Cream co-wrote unforgettable hits including "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room"

Jack Bruce, Cream’s former bassist, songwriter and singer, has died of liver disease at the age of 71.

“It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend,” his family said in a statement, according to The Guardian. “The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.”

Bruce was the principal singer and songwriter in Cream, co-writing hits including “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” with lyricist Pete Brown. He had an ongoing rivalry with drummer Ginger Baker that guitarist Eric Clapton was often helpless to stop.

Bruce struggled with drug addiction and financial troubles in the 1970s after Cream’s breakup, but continued to play as a session musician and as part of small groups. In 2003 he underwent a liver transplant after being diagnosed with cancer, and played with a reunited Cream for a series of shows in 2005.

[The Guardian]

TIME celebrities

See How Katy Perry Has Changed Over the Years

The pop star turns 30

Katy Hudson, better known by her stage name Katy Perry, started off as a Christian rock singer before rising to fame in 2008 with her single I Kissed A Girl. Take a look back at how Katy Perry and her many shades of hair color have changed over the years.

TIME Television

Transparent Creator Jill Soloway on Making the World Safer for Trans People

Comedian and TV Writer Jill Soloway attends LGBTQ TV on October 11, 2014 in New York City.
Comedian and TV Writer Jill Soloway attends LGBTQ TV on October 11, 2014 in New York City. Anna Webber—Getty Images for The New Yorker

The 'Six Feet Under' and 'United States of Tara' vet explains how her Amazon instant hit was inspired by her family

This post originally appeared on Rolling Stone.

One day three years ago, writer-director Jill Soloway got a phone call with some life-changing news: Her father was coming out as a transgender woman. “It was a total surprise,” she says. But as the elder Soloway, now a retired psychiatrist in her late 70s, explained the transition over the phone, “I reacted like a parent myself,” says Jill. “I tried to make sure that the person knows that they’re safe and unconditionally loved.” (To avoid confusion, Jill uses gender-neutral terms like “parent” and “they.”)

The experience became the basis for Transparent, an Amazon Instant series and one of the fall’s best new TV shows. It tells the story of the Pfeffermans, whose patriarch (Jeffrey Tambor) goes from Papa Mort to “Moppa” Maura. The cast also features Gaby Hoffman as Maura’s daughter Ali, Amy Landecker as daughter Sarah, Jay Duplass as son Josh and Judith Light as ex-wife Shelly. Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein plays Ali’s friend, Syd, and The Office’s Melora Hardin is almost unrecognizable as Sarah’s lover, Tammy. Ultimately, it’s a family drama with a singular purpose: “I wanted to make something that would make the world safer for my parent,” says Soloway.

The prolific Soloway – who has producer credits on Grey’s Anatomy and United States of Tara and won a directing award at Sundance last year for her film Afternoon Delight – had wanted to make a “family show” since her two-year stint writing for Six Feet Under ended nine years ago. “Pretty shortly after they came out,” she says, referring to her parent, “I was thinking, ‘I’ve got a TV show now.’ It just immediately hit me as this is the show I’ve been waiting my whole life to write.”

The show’s first season premiered in its entirety on Soloway’s birthday and, even though critics were buzzing favorably about the show, she recalls being in a fugue state. As she tells Rolling Stone about all the ways making Transparent had been positive for her and her family, it seems as though the feeling of being stunned has transformed into happiness. “It’s exciting to know that it resonates so much with people,” she says. “But it’s definitely a new feeling.”

How long have you had the idea for the show?
Ever since I was working on Six Feet Under, I had an idea of doing a family show. And then the trans aspect made itself clear to me when my own parent came out as trans.

My sister worked on the show — she wrote the seventh episode ["The Symbolic Exemplar"]. She’s kind of, like, my other half. But when I imagined this show, there was always a brother. I actually think Ali and Josh are more like my sister and I are. In some ways my sister and I are like Sarah and Ali, and in some ways we’re like Josh and Ally. But in imagining the family, there were always three kids.

MORE: Jeffrey Tambor on His ‘Transparent’ Transformation

Who are you most like in the family?
I feel like I’m a lot like Josh. I really relate to the feeling of falling in love 10 times a day and wishing I could never stop falling in love. And then there are parts of me in Ali and parts of my sister in Ali. Faith is the person who would be living on her Price Is Right money for a few years, and I’m more of a Silver Lake mom, so in some ways I’m more like Sarah. And my sister Faith is gay, so in some ways she’s more like Sarah. So I think autobiographical stuff is all thrown in a blender and mixed around and evenly distributed amongst all three kids.

How much of the show is autobiographical?
I would say it’s almost 98 percent fictionalized. The Pfeffermans are just very real people. The reason I wanted to cast Jeffrey is because he’s always reminded me of my parent. They really have a very similar sense of humor and that was just immediate. Other than that, it’s not really autobiographical.

My mom had a husband who had frontal temporal dementia, who couldn’t speak, similar to the story of Shelly and Ed. He passed away a few years ago, the same summer that my parent was coming out. So I’d say that stuff is all informed by what was going on in my life at the time. A lot of things that I was experiencing and saying to myself, this feels like a TV show and thinking, “Good thing I have a TV show that I’m writing so that I can process all this stuff.”

Something to help you work through it.
I was really working through it. I felt kind of lucky actually.

What I like about Ali is she seems like a character you could do almost anything with. Is that why you chose Gaby Hoffman?
I saw her in an episode of Louie, and I just loved the way she was talking the whole time and he’s trying to get a word in edgewise and he lets her break up with him. I just loved the way words rolled off her tongue and nothing seemed written. I loved how free she was. I was just like who is this really cool, Jewish lady? And she’s not even Jewish.

MORE: The Best TV of 2014 So Far

You might say the opposite of Judith Light.
With her, I knew that even though America knew her as the Who’s the Boss blonde person and even as the character that I remembered her from on One Life to Live. She’s been playing these Jewish moms on Broadway and that she, herself, was Jewish. When I started to imagine her without blonde hair, I was able to see Shelly in her.

When I was casting her, [actor-filmmaker] Josh Radnor called me to say, “I just hope you realize she’s a magical being. She has spiritual power and can understand people’s emotional lives in an instant.” I was down for that. On one of the early days of the shoot, a bee stung on the top of my head when we were in the park – filming the push-up scene – and then later that afternoon I was shooting a scene with Judith, and she was doing Reiki healing on me and fixed the pain. That and the Vicodin fixed it.

How did you connect with Carrie Brownstein?
Originally, when we were trying to cast Tammy, her name came up. But I always felt Tammy was really tan and blonde, like Lady Diana or someone who spent some time in her childhood on a ranch. And Carrie just seemed too Jewy to play Tammy, but I really, really wanted to work with her, so in the writers’ room we created this character of Syd for her.

You’ve said you really wanted the show to be five people who were equally lovable as well as unlikable. Is that a hard balance to strike?
I’m always going for truth and honesty. I’m a fan of Louis C.K., I’m a fan of Lena Dunham. I love shows about people that other people would consider unlikable, or like the work of Woody Allen and Albert Brooks. I love a kind of shambling outsider protagonist who always feels like they’re “other.” And so the challenge was to make five of those people in the family instead of just one. I’ve written scripts before about a single odd outsider and someone who’s trying to make sense of the world. I like that idea that all five of these people would be connected over their common legacy of feeling different, feeling on the outside.

MORE: In Pics: 8 TV Shows You Should Be Watching Right Now

What does your parent think of the show?
They love it. All four of us in our family – my sister, my mother and my, I guess you could use the word “moppa” – were all just kind of standing back and watching this thing that feels a bit like a tribute to our family but mostly like something else entirely, something so much bigger than us. We’re just all watching it together and checking in with each other every day. “How are you doing? And what do you think?”

There’s this zeitgeisty moment in the trans community, and this show happened to land in the right place, by accident really. It’s probably a show that couldn’t have been made five years ago, and five years from now [it] wouldn’t have that same feeling of “Holy shit, we’ve never seen this before.” It’s kind of fun actually to be all experiencing this together.

How much work did you need to do with Jeffrey to create Maura?
I keep saying this weird feeling that Maura Pfefferman existed out in the universe, this whole family did. She was waiting for me to notice her and waiting for me to go get Jeffrey so she could appear through him. Somebody said in an email I was sent that Maura felt spiritual to them. I was feeling that a lot when I was talking to our hair and wardrobe people about her costumes and her hair — that she should be a California hippie, kind of a Wiccan, two spirits, high priestess. It all felt so organic.

Early Maura was a little bit more awkward, who hadn’t felt her sense of style…that had one sort of feeling. And I think in the fourth episode when Davina helps her use her own hair on top and use her silver extensions underneath, she really transforms into somebody else. Even the hair and makeup people said that Jeffrey was a certain level of comfort.

I never felt like I was working with Jeffrey to “do” her, I just felt like I was trying to stand back and let her come through.

Do you have ideas for Season Two?
A little bit. I’m starting to see the beginnings of what the characters would do in a second season. But I love the writers’ room process so much. I think more of what I’m going to be doing is trying to stop coming up with too much of it so we can all do it together when we all get back together.

Your parent must be very proud of you.
Yeah, they are. They came to the set on Jeffrey’s 70th birthday actually. It was a really special day. We gave Jeffrey a big cake. And they came to the premiere as well. It was really cool.

MORE: 10 Great TV Shows You’ve Never Heard Of


Review: In John Wick, Keanu Reeves is Back Up to Speed

The Matrix's Neo goes retro in this revenge drama about a retired hit man who wipes out dozens because some bad guys killed his dog

A cop knocks on the door of John Wick’s home late one night and can’t help noticing a few thugs mortally strewn across the living room floor. “You workin’ again?” he asks mildly. “No,” Wick replies, “I’m just sorting stuff out.” The cop smiles and says, “O.K., John, Good night.”

Five years ago, Wick (Keanu Reeves) was an expert hit man who often worked for the Russian mob boss Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist). He fell in love with Helen (Bridget Moynahan), got out of the game, had a few peaceful years, then nursed Helen through the long cancer siege that finally took her life. Her parting gift: a beagle named Daisy to keep John company. Then Viggo’s screw-up son Iosef (Alfie Allen) brought a half-dozen of his henchmen to Wick’s house, beat him up, stole his car and killed the dog. In a few moments Iosef’s pals were the dead mess the cop spotted. John Wick is officially unretired.

And Keanu Reeves is back as an action star in John Wick. At 50 — 20 years after Speed made him a top-billed glowering hunk, and more than a decade since he played Neo in the Matrix trilogy — he’s not the hot icon he used to be. His last film, 47 Ronin, was an expensive flop, and he recently complained that the major studios don’t want him. (“It sucks.”) He gets headlines only when strange women pull a Iosef and break into his home, as two did on separate occasions last month. But on screen he’s still the essence of Zen cool.

In 1960, French critic Michel Mourlet famously proclaimed that “Charlton Heston is an axiom,” meaning that Heston’s image and impact transcended the definition of movie performer. In that sense, Keanu Reeves is a koan: a paradox that confounds all reason. Within the narrow range of emotions he displays — mad Keanu, bad Keanu and of course Sad Keanu — Reeves does not exactly act; he just is. And in John Wick, where he plays a retro Neo in a crime drama with lots of martial arts and gun fu, that “is” is plenty.

Action heroes need only the flimsiest motivation to start killing people. In The Rover, Guy Pearce launched a vendetta to get his car back; in Seven Psychopaths, gangster Woody Harrelson just wanted to retrieve his beloved Shih Tzu. Wick director Chad Stahelski and producer David Leitch hand their hero the double loss of his car and his dog, which is more than enough incentive for him to wipe out about 70 bad guys, one at a time, across New Jersey and New York City. He’ll use a handgun at close range in a Manhattan night club, a rifle on a rooftop across from Iosef’s Brooklyn hideout. He applies his lethal hands and feet in judo, jujitsu, the Russian sport called Sambo and, in a fine tussle with Viggo’s most imposing henchman Avi (Dean Winters), a mixture of wrestling and strangling.

Stahelski, who performed Reeves’ fight scenes in the Matrix movies, and Leitch, who stunt-doubled for Brad Pitt in Fight Club and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, also served as action coordinators on The Hunger Games, The Bourne Legacy and Dracula Untold. Now in charge of a whole movie, they bring a sleek, chic gusto to the six or seven big action scenes, shooting the mayhem in longish takes rather than chopping it into short shots. Their work is not exactly edifying, but if you can forget the specter of North American gun carnage for a moment, you will acknowledge the movie’s violent artistry even as Viggo admires Wick’s. He calls him the Boogeyman, not because Wick is the monster from Russian legend but because “He’s the one you send to kill the f—in’ Boogeyman.”

So who’re you gonna call to kill Wick? Viggo has a couple of paid assassins in mind: the avuncular sniper Marcus (Willem Dafoe) and — simply because the filmmakers belatedly realized there were no living woman in Derek Kolstad’s script — the karate cutie Perkins (Adrianne Palicki). When they can’t finish the job, Viggo confronts Wick mano a mano, because intimate enemies should really settle things with fists, not guns.

The problem with this face-off is that Viggo is outmatched. Nyqvist, who played the crusading journalist in the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, is solid but a little too genial as Wick’s looming adversary. It’s Alfie who triggered Wick’s revenge rage; Viggo is just the gruff dad trying to clean up his grown boy’s stupid spillages. The movie should have given its main villain a grander malevolence. — say, halfway through, Viggo tells Wick, “By the way, your wife’s cancer? I gave it to her.” (R-rated action films plant diseased thoughts like this in a viewer’s head.)

Quibbles aside, John Wick is the smartest display of the implacable but somehow ethical Reeves character since the 2008 Street Kings. It has vividly choreographed fights, a suave black suit for its hero to stalk in, swank homes and hotels to demolish, hoodlums who prove both the banality and the poor marksmanship of evil, and a hero with no greater moral purchase on our rooting interest than that he’s Keanu Reeves, and the bad guys killed his dog.

What else does a movie need? If you say complex human beings facing knotty moral dilemmas, you have mixed your media. You mean a Broadway play or a high-end cable series. Action movies are about movement, and John Wick pursues that goal with remorseless verve.

TIME Television

Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti to Headline Showtime’s Billions

The show is set to begin production early next year

Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti will star in the pilot for the new Showtime series “Billions,” Variety reported Friday.

Lewis, who spent three seasons on the Showtime series Homeland, a role for which he won an Emmy in 2013, will play a New York hedge fund manager, and Giamatti will play his rival in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Divergent director Neil Burger will direct and Ocean’s Thirteen screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien have teamed up with New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin to write.

The show is set to begin production early next year.


TIME Media

In Cable Ebola Coverage, It’s the Story Versus the Facts

Israeli-US actor and musician, member of the band Kiss, Gene Simmons poses during a photocall for the TV serie "Gene Simmons" as part of the MIPCOM, on Oct. 14, 2014 in Cannes, southeastern France.
Israeli-US actor and musician, member of the band Kiss, Gene Simmons poses during a photocall for the TV serie "Gene Simmons" as part of the MIPCOM, on Oct. 14, 2014 in Cannes, southeastern France. Valery Hache—AFP/Getty Images

As the disease comes to New York City, 24-hour news wavers between science and sensationalism. But what does Gene Simmons think?

The guest on Friday’s Fox News’s panel show Outnumbered gave a damning assessment of the government’s response to Ebola, after a Manhattan doctor who had recently returned from West Africa was diagnosed with Ebola Thursday night. “In point of fact, we are completely unprepared for things like this,” the guest said. “We can’t even take the simple precaution of not letting anybody from a certain part of Africa come into America before you pass a health test. The fact that this doctor and this nurse [in Dallas] were just allowed to run around… is lunacy.”

The guest was Gene Simmons. As in Gene Simmons from the face-painted ’70s rock band KISS.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that Simmons lacks the medical authority to talk about Ebola policy. He did, after all, write “Calling Dr. Love.” He’s practically a diagnostic professional! But that comment summed up where a story like Ebola is eventually bound to go once cable news has had enough time with it.

In any breaking news incident, you have the facts and then you have the story. The facts are what happened. The story is why you care–the details, quotes, opinions and fears that make the facts juicy. In cable news, the story generally wins.

So Thursday night, the facts were: Someone in New York City had Ebola. Dr. Craig Spencer, who had been volunteering with Doctors Without Borders treating patients in Guinea, had come back to Manhattan. He’d followed the accepted guidelines for self-monitoring, checking his temperature twice daily, and watching, per the medical organization’s guidelines, for “relevant symptoms including fever.” When he detected a fever that morning–before which, he would not have been infectious–he went to the hospital.

But then there’s the story! The story was that the day before Spencer went to the hospital, he went bowling! He rode in an Uber vehicle! He went jogging and ate at a restaurant and walked in a park. He rode the subway–the crowded subway! None of this, according to medical science on Ebola, presented a danger from a nonsymptomatic person. But it felt wrong in people’s guts. And that makes a better story.

Thursday and Friday’s cable coverage showed plainly this struggle between story and facts. At times, the dichotomy was present in the words and images of the same report. Friday morning on CNN, the top-of-the-hour news noted that Spencer was not contagious, according to authorities, when he went out Wednesday–but only after it ran down the subway-taxi-bowling story and said the city was “on edge.” Anchor John Berman interviewed experts including Daniel Bausch of the Department of US Medical Naval Research, who said “it looks like everything was done right” in the Spencer case. The on-screen graphic: “EBOLA IN NEW YORK: REASON TO WORRY?”

The coverage, like so many stories, has also become an extension of partisan politics. There are midterms coming up: Republicans are invested in a crisis-of-confidence narrative while the Democrats must convey an everything’s-under-control narrative. So on Fox, Sean Hannity was hammering the government for being unprepared, and seemingly every host was hitting the refrain that Spencer was “fatigued” when he went out Wednesday. MSNBC, on the other hand, emphasized the low risk this case posed to New Yorkers along with the generally positive response to New York’s public-health response to date.

As for CNN under Jeff Zucker, it is biased as always toward the juicier story. In a noontime report, correspondent Jean Casarez noted that an NYPD team had photographed some trash outside Spencer’s apartment, and then left. “So it’s still sitting out there right now?” Banfield asked, adding that she’d seen police throwing latex gloves into street trash. Had the gloves been anywhere near any dangerous fluids? Is any of that trash an actual risk? Who knows? There was no further information. But the detail sounded spooky, so the report just left it sitting there, like the recycling bags on the curb.

By midday Friday, the general tone of coverage shifted to one that was less anxious, partly because better news had broken: Dallas nurse Nina Pham was declared Ebola-free in her recovery, and Spencer, it turned out, had not had the 103 degree fever first reported Thursday night, but a much lower 100.3-degree fever–undercutting the insinuations that he might have been sicker on Wednesday. Then too, there seemed to be a growing awareness that Spencer had, after all, contracted the disease by risking his life to help others, and it was maybe unseemly to present him as some kind of arrogant bowling menace.

For now, the news fever seemed under control. But it was a reminder all the same. Ebola may only be spread through contact with infected bodily fluids. Fear and anxiety are much more easily transmitted, through the air.

TIME movies

Laura Poitras on Her Edward Snowden Documentary: “I Was a Participant As Much As a Documentarian”

Laura Poitras, Johanna Hamilton
This April 16, 2014 photo shows Pulitzer Prize and Polk Award winner Laura Poitras in New York to promote her documentary film "1971," premiering Friday at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) Charles Sykes—Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

The Citizenfour documentarian on Edward Snowden and making a film amid breaking news

The revelation of the National Security Administration’s surveillance of U.S. citizens’ phone records was among the biggest news stories of 2013, and won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for the journalists at the Washington Post and The Guardian who covered it.

One of those journalists, Laura Poitras, has just released her documentary about the events surrounding the NSA revelations — and the contractor who leaked them to her. Citizenfour takes its title from the handle Edward Snowden used to communicate online with Poitras, communications Poitras reads aloud. The film leads to Hong Kong, where Poitras and two other journalists powwow with a vaguely shocked yet clear-headed Snowden, who’s decided to walk away from his life entirely; the degree of risk he’s undertaken is underlined more strongly by Citizenfour than in any other reporting to date.

Poitras has had a long career of documenting national security initiatives and their implications in documentary form; her last film, The Oath, dealt in part with a Yemeni man held in Guantánamo Bay. But Citizenfour is a uniquely gripping work for how it gets inside one of the biggest news stories of our time. Laura Poitras spoke to TIME this week.

TIME: Was it difficult to make a film that objectively depicted the events surrounding Snowden’s disclosures, given how enmeshed you were in the process? How did your roles as filmmaker and as journalist run up against one another?

Laura Poitras: I mean, in the process of working on this film, when I was in Hong Kong, I was wearing my documentary filmmaker hat — saying, ‘I am going to document what’s happening.’ This moment in journalism when I’m meeting a source for the first time, understanding who this person is — it’s a moment you usually never get to see. Usually a source doesn’t want to be identified or will come forward four decades later, like with Deep Throat. I knew this’d be something different. As we were sitting up and working on stories, I was the documentary fillmmmaker.

When I returned to Berlin, I realized it was important I report it out. I think a lot of people, there are a lot of really talented national security reporters who can do great work on documents in the public interest. Doing this was what I wanted to do — making a longform film that looked at the story from many angles — asking what it says about journalism, whistleblowers, and the government coming down on both in the context of post-9/11 America. I’m more interested in those broader issues than I am in breaking news.

It strikes me as difficult to release a documentary after the fact about a major news event that’s been widely covered, including by Glenn Greenwald, who’s a character in the film.

In the editing room, we realized a couple of things quickly. One was that I was a part of the story and it needed to be told from a subjective point of view. I was the narrator. I was a participant as much as a documentarian. Then we tell the story close to the protagonists. Snowden, Glenn, and [U.S. intelligence official-turned-whistleblower] William Binney. It’s through them we get a picture of the wider importance. We had more footage, more archival stuff. Then it becomes a chronicle of the leaks, which is interesting when it’s happening but not interesting in retrospect. There was a film about the Obama campaign – that was interesting when it was happening, but in retrospect…

We tried to make sure it was not caught up in breaking news but to say something that would still resonate in five and ten years. It’s a broader human story. Yes, it’s about the NSA, but it’s also about what would cause a person to risk everything.

What’s the process of coordinating coverage between multiple journalists? The film depicts Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill, both at that time of The Guardian, working together on the story, and they seemed to have different areas of interest. And you were working independently.

Glenn and Euan were both working for The Guardian. Glenn did the first story about Verizon and they worked together on the other stories. I came at it not attached to print journalism as much as I am to visual journalism. I didn’t have any need to break any particular stories but in documenting what I thought was an important journalistic encounter. For instance, if The Guardian had sent over another video camera I would have kicked them out and said “This is a source I’ve been working on.” In terms of working on the documents, it clearly required many people. It required a journalistic and editorial process. No one journalist was going to be able to report on this alone.

Do you feel Citizenfour presents an “unbiased” view of Snowden? Was that even your aim?

I guess I would say it’s told from a subjective point of view, which also doesn’t mean it’s not still journalism. There’s a lot of reporting where you read the word “I.” I don’t think because it’s a subjective telling of events, it ceases to be journalism. It is still journalism. But it’s clear that the person who’s narrating through the story is a participant. Have you read All the President’s Men recently? They use “Carl” and “Bob,” and they say “I.” This is not the first time a piece of nonfiction has been told from the point-of-view of the author.

Do you think getting access to potential sources, for you, has gotten easier since the events surrounding Snowden? The whole ordeal certainly raised your profile.

I think one of the messages of the film is that this is one of the most difficult times to do journalism. The government is coming down on whistleblowers and journalists. William Binney is in the film for that reason — he goes through the system and does it right, and the FBI raids his house because they think he’s the source for a New York Times story about wireless wiretapping. Journalism is under duress because of how the government can investigate who we’re talking to by our phone records.

It’s too soon to say, I used to be much more under the radar. My last film [The Oath] was filmed in Yemen, and I didn’t register as a journalist. I didn’t need a minder. Those days are behind me. But it’s too soon to say what the impact will be. No one from the U.S. government has contacted me, but I have heard things. In Germany, I’ve heard things. People are monitoring what I’m doing, and I guess that’s to be expected. I’m not sure what it means in terms of future reporting – this was a departure for me! I usually do longform visual journalism. I’ll keep making movies.

Was it difficult for you to shoot and then to assemble the film, given the degree to which the situation was constantly changing?

When I was working on the film I made about the Iraq occupation [My Country, My Country], the story was still changing constantly. The ethnic violence began while I was in the cutting room. A film changes with contemporary events. You have to pay attention to things but also block them out. A longform documentary has to withstand time, it can’t be too reactive to current events. I certainly felt I wasn’t going to rush the film for anyone — once it was done, it was clear I wanted to get it released. I didn’t want it to premiere and not have a distributor. We didn’t want a lag time, because I do feel the issues are important.

You’re in the U.S. at the moment, though you made Citizenfour in Germany to ensure a lack of government interference.

I edited the film in Berlin, and I went there before being contacted by Edward Snowden. I set up shop there because I was concerned about the film being taken at the border. Now that the film is done, I feel I have options. I feel I have incredible connections to Berlin. The woman who edited Citizenfour, I’d love to work with her again. But I still consider myself a New Yorker and I still have friends I’d like to see here. It’s all very new; we were editing until recently. I wouldn’t have felt comfortable editing this film in the U.S. The raw footage of the subpoenas felt real. It still feels real.

TIME Music

Nicki Minaj Rules the World in Promo for MTV European Music Awards

All hail the queen (from Queens)

In a GQ profile this week, Nicki Minaj deftly skirts her interviewer’s questions about everything derriere-related. But as much as she says she’s ready to change the topic, it’s hard to get away from what is — at the very least — the heavily implied subject of her latest single, “Anaconda.”

In a promo for MTV’s European Music Awards, references to the backside abound: in a jiggling Jell-o mold, side-by-side hamburger buns, and an emoji — renamed, in her honor, an E-Minaji — inspired by the song’s salacious album art. The brief video imagines that after hosting the award ceremony, Minaj’s star is elevated from queen of rap to queen of the world, complete with gilded throne.

But the booty allusions, thankfully, steal less screen-time than images of the rapper asserting her influence in other ways. She’s depicted inspiring hair trends, bridging the rap-opera divide with an operatic adaptation of “Anaconda,” hosting her own late-night show, and ruling a commercial empire. It’s not far from the truth, either. While her face may never grace U.S. currency as it does in the video, she boasts a long and growing list of product endorsements and was the first woman to appear on Forbes’ Hip Hop Cash Kings List. (They’d better find a more gender-neutral name.)

The European Music Awards will be filmed live in Glasgow on Nov. 9. In addition to Minaj’s first major turn as a host, the show will feature performances by Charli XCX, Calvin Harris, and Ed Sheeran.

TIME Television

TLC Cancels Honey Boo Boo Amid Allegations of Co-Star’s Relationship

Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, June Shannon
In this Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, file photo, beauty pageant regular and reality show star Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson speaks during an interview as her mother, June Shannon, looks on in her home in McIntyre, Ga. On Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, the TLC network canceled the “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” series, following published reports that Shannon was in a relationship with a man who had a criminal past. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File) John Bazemore—AP

The Toddlers and Tiaras spinoff got the axe after allegations emerged that Mama June is dating a child molester

The TV network TLC has canceled the reality series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo over allegations that co-star “Mama June” Shannon resumed a romantic relationship with a convicted child molester.

“TLC has canceled the series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately,” TLC said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.”

Reports emerged earlier this week that Mama June Shannon had reignited a relationship with Mark McDaniel, recently released from prison after serving time for aggravated child molestation of an 8-year-old. Shannon’s family denied the report.

The two-year old Toddlers & Tiaras spinoff reached more than three million viewers at its height.


TIME Music

Watch One Direction’s Music Video for ‘Steal My Girl’

Starring Danny DeVito...?

Just in time to interrupt the Taylor Swift media blitz, One Direction has released a new music video for their song “Steal My Girl.”

In the (sort of bizarre) video, Danny DeVito plays a director who tags each of the One Direction boys with a symbol — Power, Mystery, etc. Hilariously (considering, again, that T-Swift has been spending the last couple of weeks dropping songs about him) her ex Harry Styles is dubbed “Love.”

It gets stranger: there are sumo wrestlers, leopard jackets, a monkey and tribesmen with balloons. Just go with it.

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