Joan Rivers Won’t Apologize For Joke About Ariel Castro Victims

Attorneys for kidnapped and tortured women Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus called for an apology, but to no avail


Joan Rivers, the queen of offensive comedy, may have finally gone too far.

Rivers was promoting her new reality television show, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?, when she compared living in her daughter’s guest room to being held hostage in the house of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro.

“Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space, I mean it’s just the worst,” Rivers said, to gasps of shock from The Today Show’s hosts.

After the comment, social media lit up with backlash and outrage. But the 80-year-old comedian has refused to apologize for her remarks.

“There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke, what’s what I do, ” she said. “They’re free, so let’s move on.”


Andy Warhol’s Lost Amiga Computer Art Recovered After 30 Years

See new images from the iconic artist

Cory Arcangel’s curiosity was piqued: he had just seen a YouTube clip of revered pop art icon Andy Warhol painting a digital portrait of Blondie singer Debbie Harry as part of a 1985 advertisement for the Commodore Amiga 1000. What had happened to the image, which was ostensibly Warhol’s first digital portrait? When Arcangel (also an artist) was in Pittsburgh — home of the Andy Warhol Museum — for his own show, he asked the museum’s curator Tina Kukielski if anything had ever come of the unlikely partnership.

As it turns out, something had.

Today, the Andy Warhol Museum announced that it has recovered a set of images that the pop artist created on the Commodore Amiga home computer that he was promoting in the ad campaign. The doodles and photos were the result of a commission by Commodore International hoping to demonstrate the computer’s graphic arts capabilities. The images that Warhol created — including revisiting his iconic Campbell’s soup cans, bananas and Marilyn Monroe — were then stranded on Amiga floppy disks for almost twenty years after technology progressed past the point of being able to easily retrieve them.

Together Arcangel and Kukielski approached the Warhol Museum’s chief archivist Matt Wrbican to ask for permission to search for the lost files on the floppy disks held in the archives. Wribcan joined the hunt, which soon grew to include other staff from the museum and Carnegie Mellon University’s Computer Club — a group, as the Warhol Museum notes in a press release, that is known for its collection of “obsolete computer hardware” and its “prize-winning retro-computing software development.”

The club’s technical expertise paired with the museum’s collection allowed the hunt for the lost images to continue. Eventually, the team was able to safely extract the images from the disks resulting in new images for Warhol fans and art historians to appreciate while also making it possible to preserve the images for posterity. (It’s unlikely that Warhol backed up his work.)

The images that the team discovered are familiar territory for Warhol fans: There’s a colorful recreation of his world-famous Campbell’s soup can; a three-eyed adaptation of a pre-rendered version of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus and a scratchy self-portrait. But he new images — as well as the YouTube advertisement that started the treasure hunt — show an established artist in a state of evolution, attempting to adapt his usual mode of creation to working with a mouse in his hand. Warhol didn’t shy away from the new technology, but instead seemed determined to master it.

As director of the Warhol Museum Eric Shiner explains, Warhol remained interested in new technology throughout his life. “Warhol saw no limits to his art practice. These computer generated images underscore his spirit of experimentation and his willingness to embrace new media.” One can only imagine what Warhol’s Instagram would have looked like.


REVIEW: New Eels Album The Cautionary Tales… Lives Up to Title

Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
Pias America

This album struggles to appear deeper than a common puddle

This post is in partnership with Consequence of Sound, an online music publication devoted to the ever growing and always thriving worldwide music scene.

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” Perhaps quoting Anaïs Nin at a time and in a space like this (particularly while occupying a similar unseeing model of myself) may come across rather callow, encroaching on unreasonable even, but let’s be honest, as befits a friend.

Mark Oliver Everett, affectionately known to us as “E,” has been making music for 22 years, and on the 22nd of April released the latest offering from EELS. Though I’m a long-standing devotee, the project’s 11th album and I got off on the wrong foot. Granted, I dove in feeling swamped already by the sheer quantity of albums Eels have recently released (this marks a total of five in five years) and naturally wanted to flip through the songs of The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett as one would the pages of a hand-drawn comic flip book — quickly and furiously. However, with every turn of the “page,” another frame flipped by depicting a rapidly dropping 10-ton Acme weight (followed by an imaginary sad trombone backing track). I was drowning from a surface listen like the character outlined by Nin — gasping for air underneath it all.

Nonetheless, let’s follow theme: I’m a strong swimmer. At a glance, the album is bookended by the opening track, “Where I’m At”, and the final plea, “Where I’m Going”. Even though the former sits sweetly as a wafty instrumental, it feels unnecessary. It lacks in depth and warmth and would be better suited as the soundtrack of a British TV period drama. The track is then repeated during “Where I’m Going”, but this time E slaps on some lyrics. The efficacy of his compositional vocabulary overpowers lyrics drenched in child-like sentiment fit for a musical: “Sunflowers shooting up to the sky that is glowing/ And I’ve got a good feeling about where I’m going.” On paper, that reads as truthful, but for some reason, on record, they’re kept by tempo and timbre floating above the surface. The melodic arrangement feels contrived.

In the end, neither of the tracks feels ultimately necessary. It would have been more hard-hitting to begin with “Parallels” because it deflects as a reference to his famed physicist father’s “many worlds” theory. Considering Everett’s fertile inclination to share, deflection is needed more than reflection. While the string arrangement on “Agatha Chang” sounds perfectly appropriate, his hesitant baritone breeds a sense of speculation. It feels too slight to stick.

The people behind the album are complicit in its stranded stature, as seen in the press release’s punted summary: “an introspective turn for E.” But isn’t E always turning inward? A “turn” denotes change. He’s turned older, sure; his head is turned on the cover of the album, yes, thank you. But E is singing about the same themes that he was singing about years ago, albeit he’s coloured them in with better production than on its predecessors (save Electro-Shock Blues, Daisies of the Galaxy, and Blinking Lights and Other Revelations, which remain unbeatable). So, to the rest, I call bullshit.

After 10 albums containing occasional bursts of solipsistic tangents, taking a turn would have meant wringing out every breath of angst and forgiveness he had to muster — not simple affectations like “everyday I live in regret and pain” during “Kindred Spirit”. If the music was meant to aid this journey of reconciliation for him, in between the swaying of folk-styled rhythms and soothing introductory chords, all it does is extinguish the fire he hoped to ignite. Melodically, “A Swallow in the Sun” begins with a similar intent but thankfully includes cymbal-led drumbeats. But I can’t help imagining hopeless scenarios of What Ifs. For instance: What if the garage rock guitars captured during Shootenanny were weaved into the same falsetto and scream found in Hombre Lobo?

Is it too late to throw in that his voice supersedes expectation? And, in hindsight, is this stripped-down, softer, and quieter songwriting his way of showing respect to the truths he’s so vulnerably trying to portray? Probably. “I wouldn’t answer each time the phone rang,” sounds more to me like the confessions of a teenager than a 51-year-old man bound by the tight knots he’s struggled to break free from for years. Everett’s gruff croon radiates in “Gentleman’s Choice”, which during Blinking Lights and Other Revelations was realized in the song “I’m Going to Stop Pretending That I Didn’t Break Your Heart”. The intimacy is certainly here, bolstered by additional instrumentals; clarinet, sax, trumpet, and cello pop in.

What The Cautionary Tales needs is a prudent pruning. This album struggles to appear deeper than a common puddle, and while E’s previous penchant for sharing has given him a brilliant book of songs from which to draw, I wonder how long he’ll stay floating on the surface, moving only according to the tides of the ocean around him, unable to reach a new destination. For E, the goal should be submerging further, one step further than the concept of introspection; he may be looking inward from the surface, but submerging would necessarily include unraveling bits and clawing deeper. I’m more intrigued to find out what he hasn’t been saying for all these years — not the repetitive staring down of monopolizing despair, mortality, and cosmic isolation all at once.

How’s that for existential crisis? Stuck on the edges of a never-ending philosophical spiral of ( f )eels.

Essential Tracks: “A Swallow in the Sun”, “Mistakes of My Youth”

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TIME 100

Robert Redford Explains the ‘Sundance Effect’


Back in 1978, Actor and Director Robert Redford attended a humble event in Salt Lake City called “The United States Film Festival.” There, he found himself in a theatre with maybe four other people, watching a small movie that looked like it was made in someone’s garage on weekends.

The experience led to an epiphany: “This guy has something special to say,” Redford recalls, “I wish there was a way to help him.”

Six years later, in 1984, The Sundance Institute — a sort of boot camp for filmmakers on Redford’s Utah property — assumed control of the U.S. Film Festival. The first Sundance Film Festival followed in January, 1985. The rest, as they say, is history.

On the occasion of 30th anniversary of The Sundance Film Festival, Redford talks with TIME about the rise (and maybe fall) of one of cinema’s most influential institutions.

Pop Culture

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Clown Sex and the Rise of Funny-Naked Women

Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses with a clown for the May 2014 issue of GQ
Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses with a clown for the May 2014 issue of GQ Mark Seliger—GQ

Sometimes the best comedy prop is the human body

The image of a naked Julia Louis-Dreyfus and a clown locked in a lust-filled embrace has been getting lots of attention, which is unsurprising considering it’s the image of a naked Julia Louis-Dreyfus and a clown locked in a lust-filled embrace.

The photo, which is part of a GQ magazine spread in their new “15 Funniest People Alive” issue, is just one in a series that tells the story of the Veep star meeting a clown, their night together, the morning after and the clown-baby who results. But, while the actress doesn’t play the sex scene for overt laughs, she’s the latest example of what’s a trend worth noting: funny-naked ladies.

Funny-naked dudes aren’t really that surprising. Jason Segel’s revelation that a naked breakup scene would be hilarious — the idea that led to 2008′s Forgetting Sarah Marshall — is mostly worth noting for the fact that he got away with full-frontal male nudity, not for the fact that he thought being naked in the scene would be funny. It was also a given that Segel would get to be the romantic lead of the movie, even though he invited audiences to laugh at his body earlier on.

Funny women have recently made inroads into joining Segel in being naked more — and, in doing so, lessening one particular type of inequality within comedy.

Lena Dunham’s Girls nudity is the most obvious example of funny-naked; as she told a journalist in January, it’s meant not to titillate but to mirror real life — and, as she showed during a Saturday Night Live appearance in March, she has a sense of humor about her own body. And speaking of SNL, the phenomenon was also on display in a nearly-nude photo spread for the May issue of Cosmopolitan, featuring the female cast-members making fun of the stereotypical “sexy slumber party” concept.

The reaction to the Cosmo shoot wasn’t all positive; to Refinery29.com, for example, the photos seemed like a reminder that being funny isn’t enough, that a woman has to be sexy to be worth the media’s time. That’s a fair point overall — but, in this particular case, the very idea that a woman can use her body and her sexuality for humorous purposes and get away with it is something to highlight.

As Linda Mizejewski points out in her new book Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics, which came out in March, women in mainstream comedy have long had to choose between being one or the other. Pretty women could be naked so that they could be looked upon. Funny women, meanwhile, kept their clothes on so nobody had to think about their bodies. Though the naked female body could be gross when it wasn’t desirable, that grossness was dirty and taboo, not funny; Mizejewski gives the example of Sarah Silverman’s recollection of what she was permitted to say on The Sarah Silverman Program: words for male genitalia were totally fine for jokes, while anatomical terms for women’s bodies were flagged by censors.

If you don’t believe it, ask Julia Louis-Dreyfus herself — or, rather, Elaine Benes. In the Seinfeld episode “The Apology,” Jerry’s new girlfriend Melissa walks around the apartment naked; at first he finds it titillating, but then he realizes that there’s “good naked” and “bad naked.”

It’s actually a pretty good early example of mainstream female funny-naked (the episode’s from 1997) but the characters on the show feel otherwise: Jerry is disturbed by the idea that Melissa, whom he likes to see naked only when she’s doing sexy things, might do other things with her body; Elaine discusses how the female body is “a work of art” while the male body is lumpy.

Now, in GQ, Louis-Dreyfus is demonstrating that that distinction is false, as Dunham and the women of SNL have shown. It’s possible for a woman to clearly traffic in mainstream sexiness — the actress’ pose leaves no doubt about that, and her body is conventionally pretty rather than funny — while still having a sense of humor. Today, there’s less of a distinction between which gender’s bodies get to be funny or pretty or sexy or gross or works of art; one of the realities that the nudity in Girls captures is that most human bodies don’t fall into just one of those categories. Just like Segel in Sarah Marshall, these funny-naked women invite viewers to laugh with them while they’re naked, and still to find them both desirable and funny. Segel will continue to spread that gospel this summer, but this time with a woman at his side: in interviews about their upcoming movie Sex Tape, Cameron Diaz has said that her role required lots of simulated nudity — at the same time that they were, in an apt turn of phrase, “laughing our asses off.”


Cameron Diaz Can’t Wait To Prank Drew Barrymore’s Baby

"I'm gonna initiate her."


On Wednesday’s Tonight Show, Cameron Diaz revealed to Jimmy Fallon that she can’t wait to prank Drew Barrymore’s new baby, Frankie – just as she pranked Fallon’s newborn at a party.

Diaz and Fallon laughed about when she pranked the talkshow host’s 6-week-old daughter Winnie by putting her hand in warm water:

Cameron Diaz pranks Jimmy Fallon’s 6-week old daughter by putting her hand in warm water. Youtube

But Barrymore’s new arrival is Diaz’s latest target. The E.T. actress and her husband Will Kopelman recently revealed the birth of Frankie Barrymore Kopelman. Now, said Diaz, “I’m gonna initiate her.”



LoveRoom And Other Apps That Should Be Reality Shows

You never know... nullplus—Getty Images

The folks who created the 'Tinder of AirBnB,' are now casting a reality TV show about hooking up with renters. But why stop there? Here are 6 more app mash-ups that would make great TV

Reality shows have been putting humans together in twisted ways for more than a decade now, but like everything else, apps are now involved. LoveRoom is like the demon love child of Airbnb and Tinder; the premise is that hosts can use this social platform to rent out their spare rooms to hotties who just might have sex with them. And if its creators have their way, some of these antics will be fodder for broadcast TV.

To be clear, LoveRoom doesn’t have any official relationship with either AirBnB or Tinder, but they might as well be family. This mash-up of 21st century convenience apps is casting its own reality show founder Joshua Bocanegra told BetaBeat. An announcement on LoveRoom’s website says the show is seeking “sexy singles” with “dynamic personalities” who are “looking for love — or maybe just a hookup — in their cities.” (Which is of course way different from all the reality shows who want to cast people with boring personalities who hate sex.)

Bocanegra didn’t reveal which production company he’s working with, or any other details of the show, but he did say that the show would be “on national television” by October even though the concept hasn’t been picked up by a network yet. Sounds a little sketchy on the details, but that didn’t stop us from thinking of other app pairings that could make the leap to reality TV.

1. Words With Friends + Coffee Meets Bagel = LoveLetters

The app would sync your Words With Friends challengers with daily romantic matches from Coffee Meets Bagel. The reality show could be a couples Words With Friends round-robin tournament where contestants with dynamic personalities and large vocabularies have to choose between love and victory.

2. CandyCrush + Venmo = CandyCost

CandyCrush is already supremely addictive, but what if you could win cash? CandyCost the app would match users against specific players so you could put real money on the table (if that were legal.) The reality show can place 20 drama-loving contestants on a deserted island and them face-off on high-stakes CandyCrush games. Think Survivor meets the Player Channel.

3. Hinge + Kindle = Book of Love

The app would set you up with friends of friends who are reading the same chapter of the same book. The reality TV show would be the Oprah’s Book Club of love. Everyone would have to take a reading quiz at the end of each episode, and the person with the lowest score gets eliminated. Oh, and everyone has to wear bathing suits the whole time.

4. Seamless + FourSquare = FoodSquare

The app would tell you which friends are close by and want to split a food order with you. The reality TV show would feature 20 contestants who battle to agree on what to order for dinner. The hitch is that each contestant has a food allergy, but nobody knows about anybody else’s allergies.

5. Instagram + Epicurious = InstaCulinary

The app would tell you how to make the food you see on Instagram. The TV show would make amateur chefs compete to prepare food found on celebrity Instagrams. Then the celebrities would taste the food to select the winner each episode.

6. SnapChat + Grindr = SnapR

Obviously this app would feature raunchy pictures that disappear. The reality TV show would be like one of those memory card games where contestants have to match the body part to the owner. Then they compete to find true love with a sensitive partner who appreciates them for who they are.







N.A.S.A. and Karen O Cover “I Shot the Sheriff”: Video Premiere

N.A.S.A. teams up with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O for a new take on a well-loved classic


If you watched the Grammys this year, you might have noticed a musical curiosity that took place outside the broadcast proper: Karen O and N.A.S.A. (the hip-hop duo, not the space guys) covering Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” as lounge-y disco. Appearing in a Sonos ad, the cover threw in a lot: a little of the spacey experiments of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Mosquito, a little of the unabashed synthpop of the YYYs last album It’s Blitz, more than a little of the stylistic rapacity of N.A.S.A.’s The Spirit of Apollo (which featured Karen O, as well as about a quarter of the musical class of 2009), and a lot of this year’s love for neo-disco, the slicker the better.

“It’s always risky covering a classic, but the idea of completely re-contextualizing the song into a different genre sounded exciting to me,” Sam Spiegel of N.A.S.A. tells TIME. “One of my favorite collaborators and inspirations is Karen O, and she was the first person I reached out to.”

Animator San Charoenchai, who Spiegel met while working on his side project Maximum Hedrum, illustrated and directed the lyric video for the clip, and it’s as high-concept as the track – a soylent western, the frontier according to ‘70s futurism: a world of neon wanted posters, and bandits getting down to disco balls. Watch the premiere above.


Say Lou Lou Go for the Gold in “Everything We Touch” Video

The electropop duo's lush new single gets a sparkly video treatment


Australian-Swedish duo Say Lou Lou – otherwise known as Elektra and Miranda Kilbey, twin daughters of The Church’s Steve Kilbey – emerged two years ago with an already fully-formed concept (twins! In a band! That even almost sounds like “Under the Milky Way!”). They already had plenty of peers – twins-in-a-band Tegan and Sara, particularly on last year’s Heartthrob, or fellow Swedish-Australian newcomers Kate Boy – and an impressively defined signature sound: sparkly synthpop, nocturnal and ‘80s and lightly sugary. It’s music for nights full of stars. Their latest single, “Everything We Touch,” has gotten a fair bit of traction – it’s been remixed by Yannis of Foals, among others – and now it’s gotten a video, too.

The other thing about “Everything We Touch” is that it’s got a doozy of a lyrics sheet — everything they touch turns to a high-fantasy word cloud of ashes and dragons and ghosts and flames – and if you were shooting a straight video of that, about thirty seconds in you’d realize you’d probably be better off submitting a script to Game of Thrones. It makes sense, then, that the video is more abstract: gold jackets, gold wash of glitter across the heavily lit sky, tasteful yearning (and, since it had to be mentioned, tasteful nudity) and more than enough atmosphere to match the sound.

Watch the clip above.


Get Ready For A Third Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Movie

Sisterhood Everlasting

Will the pants still fit a decade later?

Lovers of all things denim and YA can rejoice—Alloy Entertainment announced Thursday its plans to release a third film of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants franchise, which follows four friends with different body types who magically fit into the same pair of jeans.

It’s unclear, however, if the original cast members will be trying to squeeze into the same pants a decade later. Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrara and Amber Tamblyn have yet to sign on to the film, but The Wrap is reporting that the starlets have expressed interest and are currently in discussion to reprise their roles. There’s still no confirmation that Warner Bros., which distributed the first to films, will do this upcoming film. However, it will be directed by familiar face Ken Kwapis, who did the first film and He’s Just Not That Into You.

The new movie will be based on the plot of the fifth Ann Brashare novel, Sisterhood Everlasting, which reunites the main characters ten years after the previous book (the last film came out in 2008, so the timing won’t be too far off). This means Sisterhood will be following two popular film trends: turning weepy young adult novels into movies (“Oh my God, Sisterhood Everlasting is so sad,” a coworker said upon hearing news of movie), and reuniting casts after a long hiatus (think Ghostbusters, Rocky, Wall Street, Veronica Mars, and Indiana Jones).

[The Hollywood Reporter]

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