TIME movies

Early 2016 Release Date Set for Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar!

Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Filmmakers: Joel Coen And Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen speak during Meet The Filmmakers: "Inside Llewyn Davis" at the Apple Store Astrid Stawiarz—Getty Images

Ensemble cast will feature Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, and more

Universal Pictures let a few more details slip out Wednesday about an upcoming flick by the Academy Award-winning filmmakers called Hail, Caesar!

Indiewire, which published Universal’s synopsis, reports the feature by Ethan and Joel Coen, of Fargo and No Country for Old Men fame, is set for a Feb. 5, 2016, release.

The movie, which takes place toward the end of Hollywood’s Golden Age and “follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix,” will involve an all-star ensemble cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

[Indiewire]

TIME Music

Watch Sam Smith Surprise Everyone by Bringing Ed Sheeran on Stage to Sing ‘Stay With Me’

Seriously, the ladies in the crowd can NOT contain their excitement

Prepare to get so emotional, because this is a video of Ed Sheeran unexpectedly strolling onstage to join Sam Smith in a duet of his hit “Stay With Me.”

Smith was performing in the U.K. Wednesday night at Manchester’s Albert Hall when he launched into the popular tune. About 45 seconds in, Sheeran walked out and everyone totally lost it, which is understandable, because they were expecting just Sam Smith and then they got Ed Sheeran as a bonus.

The duet was, of course, lovely. Sheeran has had practice singing this song, as he recently covered it:

Anyway, after the show, Smith got all lovey-dovey and posted a photo of the pair on Instagram, with the comment: “So amazing to have this KING @teddysphotos on stage with me tonight. Such a wise and true friend to have. Love ya brother x”

So. Emotional.

TIME Music

Meet Young Fathers, the Band That Won the 2014 Mercury Prize

East End Social 'The Last Big Weekend' - Day 1
GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 30: Kayus Bankole, Graham Hastings and Alloysious Massaquoi of Young Fathers performs on stage at The Last Big Weekend at Richmond Park on August 30, 2014 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images) Ross Gilmore—Redferns via Getty Images

This up-and-coming hip hop group just won Britain's big music prize

FKA twigs — the avant garde R&B artist who may or may not be dating Robert Pattinson — was the favorite to win this year’s prestigious Mercury Prize, but her victory was upset by an up-and-coming hip-hop group called Young Fathers.

The Edinburgh-based group of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham Hastings plays a version of hip hop that incorporates the members’ Liberian and Nigerian roots with ’70s punk and American rap. It’s an intriguing combination: distinctive, challenging and listenable.

While many music fans may be scratching their heads at the win, the group is well-respected by critics, including The Guardian‘s Alexis Petridis, who calls their album “the work of misfits, as all the greatest music tends to be.” He goes on to say, “Dead never feels forced, or as if it’s trying too hard to prove a point. It just works.”

“Young Fathers have a unique take on urban British music, brimming with ideas – forceful, unexpected and moving,” said Simon Frith, the chair of the judges.

Another reason some are mystified by the group’s win is that their album, Dead, hasn’t performed commercially. Even in the era of declining album sales (we’re not talking about you, Taylor), the numbers are surprisingly low. According to the BBC, Young Fathers’s album Dead failed to chart, selling just over 2,000 albums. As the Press Association noted, they “could have bought the lot with their £20,000 prize money — and still have change left over.” It’s now the lowest-selling record to win the £20,000 prize. According to The Guardian, the band has only sold 561 copies since their nomination for the Mercury Prize was announced.

However, just because their album hasn’t sold many units yet doesn’t mean it won’t eventually. As The Guardian points out, “If the Mercury Prize has a worthwhile purpose, it’s to shine a light on music that a wider audience might well like if they heard it, and Dead fits the bill perfectly.”

Their win comes on the heels of James Blake’s 2013 award for his second album, Overgrown, and Alt-J’s 2012 prize for their debut, An Awesome Wave. Both acts have continued on to great success.

Familiarize yourself with Young Fathers:

“I Heard”

“Get Up”

“Romance”

TIME Books

Harry Potter Site Teases New J.K. Rowling Story

Trick or treat?

Last week, J.K. Rowling’s website Pottermore announced that the writer would be unveiling a new 1,700 word story about Harry Potter characters on Oct. 31.

While fans were told that the story would focus on Dolores Umbridge, a former Hogwarts professor that Pottermore referred to as “one of the most malicious Potter characters,” little else is known about the new tale’s content. However, recent social media updates have been hinting at what Rowling has in store on for us on Halloween.

For example, will it involve Bellatrix Lestrange?

Here are some other hints:

Rowling released a different story based in the Harry Potter world in July.

TIME Television

Here’s the Teaser Trailer for Marco Polo, Netflix’s Next Original Series

“The blood of an adventurer courses through your veins”

Swords, sex and armor have proven a veritable jackpot for HBO, and now Netflix is getting in on the action. The teaser for Marco Polo, an action drama about the explorer’s years in the 13th century court of Kublai Khan, practically begs to be compared to Game of Thrones. And since Netflix is on a seemingly endless roll with critically acclaimed original programming, there’s good reason for adventure fans to get excited.

Starring Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco Polo and British actor Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan, the show promises four of the critical elements of binge-watching: “greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry.” It was originally intended to air on Starz, but the company ran into trouble filming in China. Netflix then picked up the project and completed filming in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, and Italy.

For those whose history classes failed them and still think Marco Polo is merely a game of swimming pool tag, the man himself was an Italian merchant who spent 24 years exploring Asia. While he wasn’t the first European explorer in China and Central Asia, he left the most extensive documentation of his travels, and his Book of the Marvels of the World was many Europeans’ first encounter with Asia.

Marco Polo premieres on Dec. 12.

TIME viral

Grieving Dad Grants Deceased 13-Year-Old Daughter’s Wish to Be Famous

Listen to Anna van Keulen beautifully play Downton Abbey's theme on the piano

Two weeks ago, 13-year-old Anna van Keulen died from injuries she sustained during a bike accident on her way to school in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, her grieving father Niek van Keulen decided to do what he could to fulfill at least one of his deceased daughter’s wishes: To be famous. He tweeted out a video of Anna playing the theme song from Downton Abbey on the piano, and the heartfelt performance immediately went viral. Less than two days later, the video has been viewed almost 1.5 million times.

A day after the video went up, van Keulen tweeted, according to Google translate, “It’s overwhelming … thanks all. Anna’s goal is reached: she’s famous.”

But he wants to keep the attention directed to his daughter rather than himself. “Dear journalists: please stop calling,” he tweeted. “I do not want [to be] on radio or TV, it’s not about me, it’s about Anna. Thank you.”

 

(h/t: Mashable)

TIME movies

Watch the New Trailer for Serena With Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

The pair reunites for a third time on the silver screen

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s last two movies together, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, earned the stars ample praise and accolades, often pointing to the pair’s chemistry onscreen. Now the duo attempts to carry on that success with Serena, a Depression-era drama that’s equal parts romance and crime.

In the new trailer, cut for U.S. audiences, Lawrence and Cooper are again shown playing Serena and George Pemberton, tycoons of a timber empire in 1930s North Carolina. We see glimpses of their whirlwind romance, the personal and business dilemmas that follow, and the drastic action Serena takes to try to preserve their future together. Adapted from a novel by Ron Rash and directed by Susanne Bier, the film has been long in the making, cycling through some casting and directorial changes and followed by a lengthy editing process.

Though the duo have made their biggest impact in dramedies, it remains to be seen how they’ll fare in a movie that dials the humor way down and elevates the drama. Serena was released in Europe this month, and preliminary reviews are middling at best. Perhaps the film will fare better among American audiences when it hits U.S. theaters in February 2015.

TIME Tech

Why Tim Cook’s Coming Out Is the Most Meaningful to Date

His essay didn't minimize the importance of his sexuality. Instead, he acknowledged how being gay has changed his life and worldview

Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has spoken publicly about his sexuality in a Bloomberg Businessweek op-ed, writing: “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” It’s the most forceful declaration of self we’ve seen by a gay person in recent memory — one that presents being gay as something legitimately different from being straight, and no worse for that. It’s an inspiring new way to come out.

To be fair, Cook’s sexuality has been such an open secret that it’s legitimate to question if this is even a coming-out. The hard lines around “coming out” — traditionally the process by which someone tells the world for the first time that one is gay — have been eroded by the openness of the press and the relaxing of stigmas around homosexuality have made it far less taboo to write about a person’s sexuality before their explicit say-so. This is the first time Cook has spoken so openly about being gay; that has hardly stopped the press from, without evident malice or homophobia, including him on an Out power list of gay celebrities, or, at the time of his appointment as Steve Jobs’s replacement, calling him “the most powerful gay man in America.” Though the mainstream press has been more reticent, with a New York Times article this May asking where the openly gay CEOs were, some segments of the press covered Cook’s sexuality as they would his race or gender, as an unremarkable fact about him.

Other coming-outs, like that of Anderson Cooper in 2012, have followed a similar script: That the public figure’s sexuality is unremarkable, neither here nor there, worthy of acknowledgment solely as a biographical detail. Cooper, a CNN anchor, wrote in a public letter to the blogger Andrew Sullivan: “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted.” In his declaration of his sexuality, there was a strong undertone of reluctance: This shouldn’t be necessary, as it had little to do with Cooper’s identity. Even in coming out, Cooper spent far more time describing his life as a journalist, which he insisted was not colored by his life experiences, than he did acknowledging his sexuality. So, too, did Neil Patrick Harris, in 2006, express his annoyance at the “speculation and interest in my private life and relationships” even while finally discussing them with the press. In her 2013 speech at the Golden Globes, Jodie Foster acknowledged her former partner while framing any and all inquiries into her private life as forcing her into the position of “Honey Boo Boo Child,” a reality show entertainer.

Tim Cook has set a new paradigm, describing his sexuality as not merely a small aspect of himself that he needs to get through talking about, but as central to his identity. “Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day,” writes Cook. “It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life.”

Some will likely grouse that Cook’s silence for so long dulls the impact of his coming out now, at age 53. And his own essay presents the same privacy arguments we’ve heard before, before explaining that this was, indeed, a difficult choice. Past celebrity coming-out declarations have had a certain breeziness to them, as though the stars decided they might as well finally entertain the press’s endless inquiries. Cook’s desire not to acknowledge his sexuality, he writes, stemmed from his fear that it would overtake all other aspects of his persona in the public eye. “I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things.”

But it’s a sign of how much society has changed even since 2012 that Cook is finally able to present the somewhat revolutionary idea that being gay is not just the same as being straight — that it is not a simple aspect of one’s makeup. It changes the way one views the world, as Cook writes. It also compels one forward to take part in a cause larger than oneself. As Cook writes, citing the civil-rights legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy: “We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.”

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Actors Get Huge Pay Bump for Potential 7th Season

"X-Men: Days Of Future Past" Australian Premiere - Arrivals
Peter Dinklages poses as he arrives at the Australian premiere of 'X-Men: Days of Future Past" Graham Denholm—Getty Images

Just in case

The cast of Game of Thrones has signed on for a potential seventh season of the popular HBO series, and the actors renegotiated their contracts to include hefty pay bumps, according to a new report.

Although HBO has yet to greenlight the seventh season—George R. R. Martin has only written five of what is supposed to be a seven-book series on which the show is based—the actors had previously only been locked down through season six. The Hollywood Reporter broke the story of the raises.

While details of the new contracts are sparse, THR reports that new compensation will be based on a tier system:

The “A” tier — which includes actors Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) — is paid at the highest level. The “A” tier actors are said to have renegotiated their deals in tandem.

The show finished its fourth season this summer.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter

TIME Television

Watch Jim Carrey Test David Letterman for Ebola

"Have you traveled abroad lately?"

Jim Carrey refused to take any chances Wednesday night on the Late Show With David Letterman.

He performed a faux screening test for Ebola on Letterman, complete with questions like, “Have you traveled abroad lately?”

Watch it above.

 

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