TIME movies

Selma Director, Star to Reunite for Hurricane Katrina Love Story

David Oyelowo And Ava DuVernay Visit The SiriusXM Studios For "Selma: An Urban View Special"
David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay visit The SiriusXM Studios For "Selma: An Urban View Special" on Jan. 6 in New York City. Robin Marchant—Getty Images

This will be the duo's third collaboration

Selma director Ava DuVernay will write, produce, and direct a film about Hurricane Katrina, Participant Media announced today. David Oyelowo, who plays Martin Luther King, Jr. in her Best Picture nominee, is in talks to produce and star.

According to the announcement, the film will be a “sweeping love story and complex murder mystery during the time of Hurricane Katrina.”

“I’m thrilled to reunite with my Participant family on this project and fortunate to work again with the always exquisite David Oyelowo,” DuVernay explained in a statement. “The story we’re interested in will explore the complexities of intimate relationships within times of chaos, while also examining the chaos itself. I’m looking forward to the journey.”

Oyelowo also starred in DuVernay’s feature Middle of Nowhere.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME celebrities

Melissa Rivers Sues Clinic Over Joan Rivers’ Death

92nd Street Y Presents: An Evening With Joan And Melissa Rivers
The late Joan Rivers in New York, Jan. 22, 2014. D Dipasupil—FilmMagic/Getty Images

"Filing this lawsuit was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make"

Melissa Rivers, the daughter of late comedian Joan Rivers, filed a lawsuit Monday against the clinic where her mother suffered brain damage after her oxygen was cut off during a routine operation.

The complaint lists a number of alleged mistakes made by Yorkville Endoscopy last September, NBC News reports. Yorkville Endoscopy was not immediately available for comment.

The alleged missteps include a 12-minute delay before calling 911; a photograph of the comedian taken by a doctor while Rivers was sedated; a failure to monitor vital signs; and a delay in intubating Rivers.

“Filing this lawsuit was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement about the suit, which asks for unspecified damages.

“What ultimately guided me was my unwavering belief that no family should ever have to go through what my mother, [my son] Cooper and I have been through. The level of medical mismanagement, incompetency, disrespect and outrageous behavior is shocking and frankly, almost incomprehensible.”

[NBC]

TIME Television

Here’s Why You Should Binge Watch The Fall During the Blizzard

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dorman from The Fall Netflix

50 Shades of Gray won't be Jamie Dornan's first fetish rodeo

If you’re stuck inside during the upcoming snowstorm and counting the days until 50 Shades of Gray comes out in theaters on Feb. 13, The Fall will give you a early taste of Jamie Dornan in fetish-mode. And while nobody knows where 50 Shades of Gray will fall on the feminist spectrum (get ready for a thousand thinkpieces about exactly that), there’s little doubt that The Fall is great for women.

The Fall is a 2013 BBC hit crime drama that only recently became available for viewing on Netflix in full, which is why you’re starting to hear more about it now. It stars your future crush Jamie Dornan as a serial killer and The X Files’ Gillian Anderson as the detective charged with catching him. And even though it’s a show about stalking and killing women, it’s as much about female vengeance as male perversion.

Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, played by an icy-hot Anderson, has been brought to Belfast by the top brass to help solve a high-profile murder, which she quickly realizes is linked to several other murders of women in the area; now, she’s on the hunt for a serial killer. She’s brilliant, unflappable, and sexually liberated — she makes a habit of selecting male co-workers for one-night-stands, then quickly discarding them. When a male colleague questions her about her sexual habits, she coolly points out his double standard by comparing his alarm to the ease with which he handles men doing the same thing. “Woman f—s man. Woman, subject: man, object,” she says. “That’s not so comfortable for you, is it?”

She’s like Carrie Mathison without the crying.

Gibson pursues the killer with a relentless psychological intensity; she goes so far as to inhabit the bodies of the victims, from lying in their deathbeds to painting her fingernails the same color of red the killer chose for his post-mortem manicures. But she’s just as deliberate about correcting the deeply flawed rhetoric surrounding crimes against female victims. She insists the department not refer to the victims as “professional” (because it’s too much of a “value judgment”) and refuses to describe the victims as “innocent.” “What if he kills a prostitute next?” she asks. “Or a woman walking home drunk? Will they be in some way less innocent, therefore less deserving? Culpable?”

This awareness of the way police describe female victims points to a meta-insight about the way the media depicts female characters like her own. “The media loves to divide women into virgins and vamps, angels or whores,” she tells a subordinate. “Let’s not encourage them.” She’s talking about the journalists covering the case — but she could just as easily be talking about a television audience that’s only recently getting used to seeing female characters like her.

Dornan’s character, Paul Spector, hunts successful career-oriented brunettes who live alone. At first you think his super-hot face is the most surprising thing about him (serial killers are supposed to be freaky-looking — sorry, Ted Bundy); then, the show reveals that he’s a lot more complicated than he seems. He’s a husband, a grief counselor, and a father to a young daughter whom he seems to adore. Spector isn’t much of a talker — he lurks, stalks, and seems to say as little as possible (in one particularly chilling conversation with his boss, he imitates everything he says like a petulant child). And he’s obsessed with the psychological torture and murder of his targets, who have all achieved more power and success in the world than he has. In one meeting discussing his motivations, a female cop observes that he “hates women who occupy powerful positions,” to which a male colleague responds, “Don’t we all?”

But a strong female detective on TV is nothing new: just ask Law & Order SVU’s Olivia Benson, The Killing’s Sarah Linden, or Top of the Lake’s Robin Griffin. What’s most fascinating about The Fall is the way violence against women seems to darken the world for all the female characters — not just the victims. Spector’s daughter Olivia begins to have dreams about dead naked women after he gives her a necklace he stole from one of his victims. She starts making drawings of dead women at school, even though she doesn’t know what her father does at night. The children’s babysitter Katie finds a lock of a victim’s hair, which leads to a disastrous pseudo-sexual encounter with Spector. Spector’s wife perjures herself to cover for him without knowing the truth.

Whether they know it or not, all of the women in the show are affected by the murders. It’s a potent truth: where any women are targeted, all women are in danger.

TIME Videos

Watch Rowlf Sing Biz Markie’s ‘Just A Friend’ to Miss Piggy

Even Muppet dogs get put in the friend zone.

Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date, but she was smitten with your little green friend Kermit? Welcome to the friend zone, Rowlf.

Biz Markie’s 1989 riotous rap classic “Just A Friend” gets a Muppet-themed remix video by Mylo the Cat and it’s the perfect thing to watch on a Monday afternoon (or if you’re snowed in thanks to winter storm Juno).

In the video, Rowlf, the piano-playing Muppet dog, sings about his love for a certain blonde pig, who has a thing for a frog, but swears he’s just a friend.

By the end of the song, though, it’s clear that Rowlf tragically learned his lesson to never talk to a pig who says she just has “a friend.”

[via Laughing Squid]

TIME movies

10 Things Beauty and the Beast’s Belle and Harry Potter’s Hermione Have in Common

From Left: 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix' Disney; Warner Brothers

Emma Watson's new role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast has more in common with Hermione Granger than just being bookish

Emma Watson, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, has been cast in Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast and thus is stepping into another role as a beloved nerdy girl. Hermione and Belle are probably the two most well-known bookworms in pop culture — and it turns out they have a lot more in common than their mutual love for the written word:

1. They’re both bookworms

Obviously, the casting directors for Beauty and the Beast wondered, “What other female character spends all her time with her nose in a book?” The best they could come up with was Hermione.

2. Everyone thinks they’re strange

Because Belle and Hermione are both beautiful women who love to read, everyone thinks they’re weird — obviously. Hermione is ostracized by her peers (including her future husband Ron Weasley) in J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book for being a know-it-all, while the townspeople sing about Belle in the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast, “Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question. / Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?” People are the worst.

3. They love beastly things

While Belle shows her affection for the Beast, a creature who repels most, Hermione is kind to the gentle giant Grawp, half-brother of Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper. Grawp, however, never turns into a handsome prince.

4. They are humans that enter a magical world

When Belle comes to Beast’s castle, she finds an enchanted world where teacups and candelabras can sing and dance. Hermione is a muggle whose first major introduction to the magic is at Hogwarts where the ceiling can change from night to day and ghosts wander the halls.

5. They both live in castles

The Beast’s home and Hogwarts? They’re both massive, old and awesome magical castles. Emma Watson will feel right at home on the Beauty and the Beast set.

6. They both have major dress moments

Remember when Belle appears at the top of the stairs in a billowing yellow dress before her dance with the Beast? Remember when the exact same thing happens on top of another staircase as Hermione shows up in that gorgeous dress to the Yule Ball? They even have the same hairstyle! Here’s a reminder:

7. They’re friendly to all creatures

Belle defends her beloved horse, while Hermione is always a helper to the house elves (RIP Dobby). She even launched a Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.

8. They both get hit on by terrible men

Gaston, a detestable human being, is relentless as he hits on Belle. Hermione, too, must suffer through the amorous advances of Cormac McLaggen at Potions Professor Slughorn’s holiday party. Both are smart enough, of course, to run away from their loathsome suitors.

9. They love wandering into restricted places

Don’t tell these ladies where they can and cannot go. Belle wanders into the forbidden west wing of the castle even though the Beast warns her not to do so. Hermione passes off an autograph from Professor Gilderoy Lockhart as a note that allows her to enter the restricted section of the library in Hogwarts.

10. They’re judgey about table manners

Hermione makes fun of Ron for eating like a slob, just like Belle throws shade at the Beast for eating his oatmeal like, well, a beast.

Read next: How 7 Disney Princesses Could Change the World

TIME Music

Sam Smith to Pay Tom Petty Songwriting Royalties for ‘Stay With Me’

Sam Smith
Matt Sayles—Invision/AP

Smith's hit was influenced by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "I Won't Back Down"

Sam Smith’s “Stay with Me” was one of the biggest hits of 2014. So big that Tom Petty heard the tune and noticed something: it was substantially similar to his 1989 classic “I Won’t Back Down”.

Petty’s lawyers approached Smith’s team; Smith then agreed to give Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne (best known for his work in ELO) a 12.5% songwriting credit for influencing his song. According to a source who spoke to The Sun, “After it was pointed out to Sam’s camp, they didn’t try to fight it and amicably dished out royalties. It wasn’t a deliberate thing, musicians are just inspired by other artists and Sam and his team were quick to hold up their hand when it was officially flagged.”

Smith’s rep told Rolling Stone that “the likeness was a complete coincidence” and that though they were “not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of ‘Stay With Me’ listened to ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and acknowledged the similarity” and “all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement.”

According to The Sun, Smith and Petty actually settled out of court back in October, but details only emerged this weekend. The song’s credit on ASCAP has been amended to now include Petty and Lynne, along with Smith, William Phillips, and James Napier as the chief songwriters. Considering that “Stay with Me” has already sold six million copies, Petty and Lynne should expect a sizable sum from the deal— although, as Rolling Stone points out, it’s unclear whether Petty and Lynne were retroactively compensated or if they’ll only be entitled to future earnings for the songwriting credit.

Smith’s situation is not unusual. Songwriters are often “inspired” by other people’s music, frequently unconsciously — such as the famous example of the melody of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” which a court found was subconsciously copied from The Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine”. Artists ranging from Rihanna to Green Day and The Doors have all been accused of borrowing from other artists. (See 11 Suspiciously Sound-Alike Songs, here.) Petty himself has been accused by fans of borrowing lyrics from The Replacements after the band opened for him on tour.

However, it’s rare for an artist to admit to borrowing an idea like Smith seems to have done. To wit, the “Blurred Lines” copyright trial that pits Pharrell and Robin Thicke against Marvin Gaye’s family is set to begin next month, while Led Zeppelin is battling it out in court over similarities between “Stairway to Heaven” and Spirit’s “Taurus.”

Despite settling with Petty, Smith’s legal troubles haven’t come to an end. The singer is still embroiled in a lawsuit with Disclosure, who have been accused of stealing lyrics to some of their hit songs, including “Latch”.

Neither Smith’s nor Petty’s responded to a request for comment at time of publication.

Listen to the tracks below and see if you can spot the similarities:

Sam Smith – “Stay with Me”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – “I Won’t Back Down”:

TIME movies

Emma Watson to Star in Disney’s Live Action Beauty and the Beast

"Noah" - UK Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals
Emma Watson attends the UK premiere of "Noah" at Odeon Leicester Square on March 31, 2014 in London. Anthony Harvey&—Getty Images

"Time to start some singing lessons," the actress says about playing Belle

Harry Potter star Emma Watson’s latest role will be another bookish heroine.

“I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast!” the actress posted on her Facebook page. “My six year old self is on the ceiling – heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons.”

The movie will be directed by Bill Condon, who directed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, and produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman.

According to a Disney press release, the film will begin filming later this year.

Read next: 10 Things Beauty and the Beast‘s Belle and Harry Potter‘s Hermione Have in Common

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Television

Why TV Is the Perfect Place for Indie Filmmakers

The Duplass brothers, on the set of Togetherness. PRASHANT GUPTA/HBO

It's not just business. Sometimes bigger (as in running time and audience) really is better for the subjects of little films.

If you’ve been following the news out of the Sundance Film Festival, you may have been noticing that a lot of the news there is about something other than film. Namely, TV names, deals and projects appear to be everywhere at the festival this winter.

The festival lineup this year includes two series: The Jinx, a documentary series beginning in February on HBO, and Animals, an animated series from independent filmmaker brothers Jay and Mark Duplass, which is looking for a distributor. The Sundance Institute has setup a “laboratory” for TV creators, and Sundance founder Robert Redford has been quoted as saying that “television is offering more opportunities … and is advancing farther than major filmmaking.”

As Redford alludes to, part of the dynamic is an issue of business opportunities. There is, arguably, richer potential in landing a TV deal than making an independent movie, shopping it around, and trying to get it attention in theaters. Last fall when her show Transparent premiered on Amazon, Jill Soloway–who got the deal for the show after her movie Afternoon Delight won acclaim at Sundance–told me that indie filmmakers already realize that much if not most of their audience will see their movies on streaming or VOD; why not take the next step?

“It’s a rare, rare movie that’s about humans or about families or about people that can really make it theatrically,” Soloway said. “Independent filmmakers already have their heads around people on their couches watching their movies. For me coming out of Sundance and having Amazon offer this opportunity it felt like I was going to get to make a movie and I already had distribution.”

But I’d also argue that TV is a good match for indie filmmakers for other than economic and practical reasons. TV isn’t just an alternative venue for the kind of storytelling these filmmakers want to do. In many cases, it’s a superior one. As Soloway says, a lot of independent film is about slices of life and the evolution of relationships. You can treat that in a 90-minute movie, but, as in the case of Transparent and its interwoven family stories about sex and identity, you can do a lot more in a five-hour season. It might have made a fine movie, but it was the best TV show of 2014, and it now has a Golden Globe to show for it.

Turn on HBO right now, meanwhile, and you’re essentially watching an indie-film triple feature: Girls, from Tiny Furniture director Lena Dunham; Looking, produced and directed by Andrew Haigh (Weekend); and Togetherness, from the abovementioned Duplass brothers. Each show falls into the genre of the not-always-funny-comedy or drama-with-laughs, a category that sometimes irks TV traditionalists accustomed to clearer drama and comedy boundaries–but which is the stock-in-trade of indie film.

Arguably, that entire genre is really the indie aesthetic being transferred over to TV. And the talent has as well: a number of series have employed indie directors like Nicole Holofcener (whose credits include Enlightened and Looking) and Lisa Cholodenko (Olive Kitteridge and NBC’s upcoming The Slap). I’d love to see someone like Holofcener make a series; I love her films, like Friends with Money, but they often deal with precisely the kinds of intertwined relationships and class and status concerns that are perfect for series TV.

I’m not trying to write another triumphalist, TV-is-better-than-movies piece here. The two genres each have their strengths, and each does things better than the other. But I’m glad to see that TV now has both the status and the institutional support to lure in more artists whose stories might be better told in a longer format. Maybe the best hope for independent cinema is to recognize that, sometimes, it’s better off being independent from cinema.

 

TIME Television

Larry David Once Pulled a George Costanza

2013 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2
Larry David onstage at the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association tour on July 25, 2013 in Beverly Hills. Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images

'You think you're an important man?! You are a laughing stock!'

Comedian Larry David once quit his job as a writer on Saturday Night Live only to return as if nothing had happened. Years later the story would inspire a Seinfeld bit where George Costanza did the same, according to a new profile of David in New York magazine.

These clips of Costanza quitting, already favorites for Seinfeld lovers, become so much funnier when you imagine David actually doing it.

The profile, timed with the opening of David’s new Broadway show Fish in the Dark, contains a number of other memorable anecdotes about the famous grouch. For instance, David once returned a Porsche two weeks after purchasing it.

“It was like a bad suit,” he said. “It didn’t fit. It was a bad fit for me. I felt very self-­conscious.”

Read more at New York

TIME movies

Birdman Flies Ahead in Oscar Race

Press Room - 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
Actors Michael Keaton (R) and Edward Norton (2-R) and cast members of 'Birdman' hold the award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 25, 2015. Paul Buck—EPA

The trick-shot dramedy snags the top awards from the Screen Actors and Producer guilds. Can anyone snipe—we mean stop—the Birdman Express?

The man who becomes a bird is flying high in the Oscar race. The boy who becomes a man fell to Earth. And the SEAL with a sniper rifle remains an outsider, and may be out of ammunition.

The fast-evolving competition for the Academy Award for Best Picture took another Darwinian leap this weekend with the Producers Guild awards on Saturday night and the Screen Actor Guilds ceremony on Sunday. The two industry guilds, many of whose members also vote for the Oscars, presented their top prizes to Birdman or (Whatever the Silly Subtitle Is), making Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s dramedy about a desperate actor the front-runner for the most coveted Oscar. No film that won the SAG and the PGA awards has failed to win the Academy’s Best Picture since 2007, when Little Miss Sunshine lost out to The Departed.

In a mild upset at SAG, Eddie Redmayne took Best Actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, nosing out Birdman leading man Michael Keaton. But Keaton did share in his film’s Ensemble award, so the SAG members may have figured they were spreading the wealth.

The other acting Oscars reached mathematical certitude when SAG named Julianne Moore as Best Actress for Still Alice, J.K. Simmons as Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, and Patricia Arquette for Boyhood. That Richard Linklater drama of Texas family life, shot over a 12-year period as lead actor Ellar Coltrane grew from first-grader to college freshman, has been the critics’ darling since it premiered a year ago at the Sundance Film Festival, But losing the SAG and PGA benedictions means it’s a slightly longer shot for Best Picture.

The Screen Actors, who traditionally reward movies with large casts—such as Crash over Brokeback Mountain in 2006, presaging the Crash Oscar win—had been expected to favor Birdman, with its powerhouse acting team, above Boyhood, which has an essential cast of four, two of whom are kids. But the Producers, whose top choice has coincided with the Academy’s in every year since 2009, when the Best Picture Oscar expanded from five finalists to as many as 10, certainly gave a thumbs-up to Birdman and a time-out to Boyhood.

SAG and the PGA also agreed in ignoring the colossus in the room: Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which went into wide release just 10 days ago and has already earned $200 million. That’s a record-breaking debut for any R-rated film or, for that matter, any movie without a fantasy superhero—though the Sniper critics might say that Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sharpshooter played by Bradley Cooper, is too good to be believably true. The film was a PGA finalist, and Cooper shortlisted for SAG’s Best Actor prize, but won nothing except the hearts and minds of the mass movie audience. These are not the People’s Choice Awards.

Birdman, which has never played in as many as 1,000 North American theaters, just crossed the $30-million threshold this weekend. But box-office popularity has rarely been a factor in the decisions of SAG, the PGA or the Academy.

What all three groups love is movies about acting with a capital A: the process of creating a work about the agonies and ecstasies of performance. Consider the 2011 winner The King’s Speech, detailing King George VI’s rehearsal for a radio speech against Hitler; the 2011 champ The Artist, a virtually wordless valentine to a silent movie star; and the 2013 recipient Argo, in which a CIA agent tutors U.S. Embassy personnel in Teheran how to act their way out of Iran.

Birdman is basically All About Eve—the 1950 comedy about rehearsal rivalries in a Broadway show, and another Best Picture laureate—reimagined as a Batman suicide mission. The movie couldn’t be actor-ier.

And at least four weeks before the Academy Awards, it couldn’t be Oscar-ier.

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