TIME Music

Cynthia Lennon, Former Wife of John Lennon, Dies at 75

She died of cancer in her home

Cynthia Lennon, the former wife of John Lennon and eyewitness to the early days of the Beatles, died in her home Wednesday at the age of 75.

Her death was confirmed by a publicist and on her son Julian Lennon’s Twitter page. She died in her home in Spain after a “short but brave battle with cancer,” according to a memorial page.

The Lennons met in art school before the Beatles got their start in Hamburg, and married in 1962 after Cynthia Lennon realized she was pregnant. Their marriage and subsequent birth of their son Julian was initially kept a secret, to avoid upsetting the growing Beatlemania, but Cynthia and Julian eventually got a front-row seat to the Beatles’ growing popularity in England and the U.S. The Lennons divorced in 1968, when John Lennon became involved with Yoko Ono.

Cynthia chronicled their marriage and her experience with the Beatles in two books, A Twist of Lennon (1978) and John (2010).

 

TIME Music

This Is Why Joni Mitchell Is Your Favorite Musician’s Favorite Musician

Pre-GRAMMY Gala And Salute To Industry Icons Honoring Martin Bandier - Arrivals
Steve Granitz—Getty Images/WireImage Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell attends the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons on Feb. 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

The singer-songwriter, who was hospitalized last night, gave voice to musical feminism in an era where women had to fight with tooth and claw for artistic legitimacy

Music fans around the world steeled themselves for tragedy on the evening of March 31 when Joni Mitchell was hospitalized after being found unconscious in her Los Angeles home. Recent updates indicate that Mitchell is doing well and recovering—a tweet from her official account sent early Wednesday morning placed her in intensive care, but “awake and in good spirits”— but still, it provides an opportunity to reflect on the sheer weight of Mitchell’s discography and the breadth of her influence, the tendrils of which snake through the last 40 years of popular music.

Mitchell was born in Canada in 1943 and spent her childhood in rural Saskatchewan, a survivor of a late polio epidemic and passionate about the arts. She moved through Toronto and New York as a young woman and moderately successful songwriter before being discovered by the legendary musician David Crosby in a Florida club. She moved to Los Angeles shortly after and released her debut album, Song to a Seagull, at the age of 25. This marked the beginning of one of the most impressive decades a musician has ever had, one characterized by incredible productivity and spurts of sheer genius. From the stark, largely acoustic folk-pop of her first few records—an approach that climaxed with Blue, a wrenching post-breakup self-examination that stands as her most popular work—to the pioneering, ambitious jazz fusion of The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Hejira, Mitchell forged a new kind of art-pop: lyrics that moved with the delicacy of poetry and challenged both the personal and political; arrangements and melodies that were complex and winding; a voice that cut through unworthy suitors and flimsy sexism like a knife through butter. Alongside contemporaries like Carole King and Carly Simon, she gave voice to musical feminism in an era where women had to fight with tooth and claw for artistic legitimacy. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Steely Dan: Mitchell hung with them all. In many cases, she beat them to the punch.

Though the light began to fade from her solo work after the ’70s closed—her most notable releases in the years since have been reinterpretations of songs written then, newly colored by age and experience—she was already impacting future generations’ leading lights. Joni Mitchell will live forever as your favorite musician’s favorite musician, a position she’s held since the dawn of the ’80s, impacting superstars and hidden gems alike. Prince called The Hissing of Summer Lawns “the last album [he] loved all the way through,” and quoted Court and Spark hit “Help Me” on “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker”; Björk counts her 1977 double album Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter among her all-time favourites. There are entire musical sub-genres it’s tough to conceive of without Mitchell’s spirit hanging over them, like the spectral freak-folk that flowed out of California in the mid-’00s.

And then there’s Taylor Swift, pop’s reigning titan, a disciple of Mitchell in ways both obvious and subtle. There’s her writing, ripe with reflection but capable of sharp evisceration, and her complete ownership of the music she makes; there’s the album she named Red, her cap tipped to Mitchell’s Blue. There are songs like “Blank Space” where Swift sings about changing herself for a man and getting drunk on jealousy with a surprising, stately, clipped sort of grace.

It can take you back four decades to Mitchell’s “California,” where she asks a partner, “Will you take me as I am? / Strung out on another man?” even as she’s catching sun and drinking wine in Greece. Mitchell asked the question, but the answer didn’t really matter; listeners knew she’d end up fine either way. Swift is the same, walking the trail Mitchell blazed.

TIME Media

Netflix Is Begging You to Take a Shower in These New Binging PSAs

Special Screening Of Netflix's "House Of Cards" Season 2
Jason LaVeris—FilmMagic Actor Kevin Spacey attends a screening of "House Of Cards" at Directors Guild Of America on February 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

This is your brain on House of Cards

“Just say no” to binging — that’s the message behind a new set of Netflix public service announcements conveniently timed for April Fools’ Day.

The PSAs warn of the social, physical and psychological dangers of watching way too many TV episodes back-to-back. If users watch more than two consecutive episodes of a show on April 1, they’ll be greeted with one of 13 PSA’s from stars such as Michael Kelly (Doug Stamper on House of Cards) and Taylor Schilling (Piper Chapman on Orange Is the New Black).

The messages cover a wide range of basic human activities that hardcore Netflix users might often ignore, such as venturing into the outside world, calling their mothers and eating a meal that involves utensils. “Turn off the TV,” Freaks and Geeks star Linda Cardellini says in one ad advocating showering. “You stink.”

Netflix users can see all the ads in one place by searching for “Binge Responsibly” within the service.

 

TIME celebrities

Patton Oswalt Had a Lot to Say About the Trevor Noah Backlash

Try 53 tweets about the incoming Daily Show host's controversial jokes

Within 24 hours of being named Jon Stewart’s successor on The Daily Show, South African comedian Trevor Noah found himself in hot water over some old tweets that critics deemed sexist, anti-Semitic and fat-shaming. “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian,” Noah wrote in response.

Enter Patton Oswalt, who is no stranger to criticizing what he thinks is unnecessary political correctness infiltrating comedy (for the worse). Last night Oswalt came to Noah’s defense with an elaborate, 53-part Twitter joke that took aim at trigger warnings, disclaimers and the way people talk about privilege on the Internet. The gist of his argument is basically, “So what if jokes are offensive? Deciding who or what is off-limits—or going out of your way to placate—is terrible for comedy.” But you can read the whole thing (excerpted below) over at his account and decide for yourself.

TIME Television

Aasif Mandvi: Controversy Over Trevor Noah Tweets Is ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

The Daily Show correspondent says he trusts Jon Stewart's judgment on the hire

Trevor Noah hasn’t even stepped onto the job as the new host of The Daily Show yet, but thanks to some controversial old tweets, everyone already has an opinion about the comedian. But his new colleague, Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi, says the uproar is “much ado about nothing.”

“I trust Jon Stewart,” Mandvi told The Hollywood Reporter. “Jon seems to want him to take over, so I trust that. I think the only way we’re gonna know is once he does the job.”

He also has some advice for the new host: Take a hint from Jon Stewart and stay off social media. He recounted his boss telling him, “I don’t need to be on Twitter or Facebook because I’m on television four nights a week.”

Hopefully Noah will use those four nights a week wisely when he takes over the host seat.

 

TIME Television

Watch Ethan Hawke and Jimmy Fallon Sing Lullabies in the Style of Bob Dylan

Just sleep tight, it's alright

He wowed critics in Boyhood and just directed a documentary, but now Ethan Hawke is showing off another, completely different talent: impersonating Bob Dylan on The Tonight Show.

Hawke, like host Jimmy Fallon, is a father to young children. And sometimes, when your kids don’t go to sleep when they’re supposed to, you have to get a little creative—perhaps by singing classic songs in the style of the folk icon. “I’ve heard there’s scientific research that points to this,” Fallon says. “Oh, it’s proven,” Hawke answers before the two break out their guitar gravelly-voiced renditions of “Rock-a-bye Baby” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Watch the full clip below:

 

TIME celebrities

Maniac Cop Actor Robert Z’Dar Dies at 64

2007 Chiller Theatre Convention
Bobby Bank—WireImage Robert Z'dar attending the 2007 Chiller Theatre Convention at the Hilton Hotel on October 5, 2007 in Parsippany, New Jersey.

He appeared in more than 100 films in his lifetime

Robert Z’Dar, the cult-film actor best known for his work in the Maniac Cop series, died Monday at age 64 after being hospitalized in Pensacola, Fla.

Z’Dar, who was recovering from chest pains when he went into cardiac arrest, was in town to for Pensacon, the city’s comic convention, the Pensacola News Journal reports.

“We talked every day,” longtime manager Jim Decker tells the Journal. “We’ve been together through thick and thin. He was the first actor I took on in my career as an agent. We spent many weekends on the road together and a lot of time enjoying each other’s company. I miss him dearly.”

The man born Robert J. Zdarsky appeared in 121 films, at least one movie annually for 27 out of the past 29 years. In addition to the three Maniac Cop films, he also appeared in Mobsters, Tango & Cash, Soultaker and The Final Sanction. He had TV roles on Growing Pains and The Flash. Z’dar was recognizable due to his prominent chin, which often scored him roles as villains.

Prior to becoming an actor, Z’Dar was on Arizona State University’s football team, played in a band called Nova Express and worked as a Chippendales dancer, Decker said. Z’Dar was due to film Samurai Cop 2, the sequel to the 1991 movie.

[Pensacola News Journal]

TIME Television

Netflix’s Bloodline Renewed for Second Season

Kyle Chandler (John Rayburn) and Ben Mendelsohn (Danny Rayburn) in the Netflix Original Series BLOODLINE. Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani © 2014 Netflix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Saeed Adyani/Netflix Chandler and Mendelsohn in Bloodline.

The well-reviewed thriller stars Kyle Chandler

Bloodline is getting a second season.

Netflix has ordered another round of the family thriller starring Kyle Chandler.

In Bloodline, when the eldest brother and black sheep of the Rayburn family returns home, he exposes the emotional demons that lie at the core of the family, threatening to tear them apart. The acclaimed drama stars Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sam Shepard, Sissy Spacek, Norbert Leo Butz and Jamie McShane.

The series was launched on Netflix on March 20 to strong reviews.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

 

TIME celebrity

Jamie Dornan Stalked a Woman to Prepare for His Role as a Serial Killer

Variety's Actors on Actors: Emmy Edition presented by Autograph Collection Hotels - Day 2
Joe Scarnici—Getty Images Actor Jamie Dornan speaks during Variety Studio Actors on Actors presented by Autograph Collection Hotels on March 29, 2015 in Los Angeles.

Not a recommended route for method actors

Many actors are asked about their so-called process or how they get into character for a certain role. Not so many actors are as candid as Jamie Dornan.

The 32-year-old Irish actor, who is best known for playing kinky billionaire Christian Grey in the recent adaptation 50 Shades of Grey, sat down with the Los Angeles Times to discuss his work on the television drama The Fall. In the series, which began in 2013, Dornan plays Paul Spector, a husband and father who murders women in his spare time. During the live chat, Dornan was asked how he prepared for such a brutal role and he copped to some down-right creepy behavior of his own, telling the Times:

“The first series, I did do a couple of things to try to get inside [his mind]. On the tube, which is our underground system” — Dornan began with his anecdote before stopping himself. “Can we get arrested for this? Hold on … this is a really bad reveal: I, like, followed a woman off the train one day to see what it felt like to pursue someone like that.”

Dornan said he kept his distance from his target, and once she reached her stop, lurked behind her for a couple of blocks.

He went on — as, we imagine, his publicist began hyperventilating — saying: “It felt kind of exciting, in a really sort of dirty way. I’m sort of not proud of myself. But I do honestly think I learned something from it, because I’ve obviously never done any of that. It was intriguing and interesting to enter that process of ‘what are you following her for?’ and ‘what are you trying to find out?”

Unsurprisingly, many women didn’t appreciate Dornan’s methods and took to Twitter to respond:

Read next: Fifty Shades of Grey Star Jamie Dornan Wants You to Know He Isn’t Really a Sick Psychopath

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TIME

Watch How the Makers of Furious 7 Created the Best Scenes of the Series

'It was one of the most exciting moments I've had in my life — ever'

The Fast and Furious franchise has made its name — not to mention more than $2.5 billion — by featuring show-stopping stunts that defy the laws of both physics and logic.

The upcoming Furious 7, which hits theaters on April 3, is no exception. The film sees gearheads played by Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and the late Paul Walker (who was killed during the a break from the film’s shoot in 2013) travel all over the world in pursuit of lethal assassin (played by Jason Statham) who has a vendetta against them.

In one of the film’s most jaw-dropping sequences the crew parachutes into a remote mountain region in Azerbaijan — all while sitting in their souped-up cars. So just how did the makers of Furious 7 manage to film five cars falling from an aircraft at 12,000 feet? Very carefully.

Watch the video above for a break down of the making of the scene.

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