TIME movies

The Piano That Was Used in Casablanca Has Been Sold for $3.4 Million

Movie MemorabiIia Auction
Richard Drew—AP This Nov. 21, 2014 photo shows the piano on which Sam plays "As Time Goes By," a bamboo and cane cafe chair the front doors of Rick's Cafe Americain, and a Moroccan-style painted metal floor lamp from "Casablanca," part of the "There's No Place Like Hollywood" movie memorabilia auction, at Bonhams auction house, in New York.

"Play it once, Sam. For old times' sake."

The piano on which Ilsa famously asked Sam to play “As Time Goes By” in Casablanca was sold at a New York auction on Monday for $3.4 million.

A miniature instrument, and golden yellow in color, the piano is hard to recognize as an iconic prop from the 1942 blockbuster, which featured Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa, Humphrey Bogart as Rick and prominent African-American jazz drummer and band leader Dooley Wilson as barroom pianist Sam. (Remarkably, since posterity remembers him as a pianist, Wilson did not actually play the piano, but had the keyboard tinkling for Casablanca overdubbed.)

Despite the piano’s diminutive size — it has 30 fewer keys than normal — it didn’t fail to upstage the other movie memorabilia on sale at Bonhams. The Cowardly Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz came closest, fetching $3.077 million.

Catherine Williamson, the director of entertainment memorabilia at Bonhams, said that the Casablanca piano is such a significant piece because Humphrey Bogart hides the letters of transit, his only possible escape from Morocco, in the instrument.

“Fifteen minutes into the movie, he tucks them in there,” she told the New York Times. “They’re under there while Sam plays; they’re there for all of the activity that happens in the cafe. The piano is there. It represents the way out for them. That’s what made it so important.”

The letters of transit were sold separately for $118,750.

TIME celebrities

Amy Poehler’s Final Old Navy Ad Is Here… and It’s Spectacular

Amy Poehler’s Old Navy ads may be the rare commercial that has you turn the TV off of mute. She’s played an unprofessional judge, a rude reservationist, a snooty art store critic, and now she’s finally embracing the role she was born to play: A pop diva playing to an auditorium devoid of fans. (Surprise! They’re all at Old Navy’s Black Friday sale!)

In behind-the-scenes footage, Poehler acknowledged that her time as the brand’s face was wrapping up, but said it was all worth it in the service of the ultimate goal: stringing the ads together at the end to blow your mind. “There’s an Easter Egg in each one and it all has a narrative theme if you pay attention. These commercials are like a season of The Wire. And they all make sense at the end,” she jokes. “If you watch these commercials with the soundtrack of Pink Floyd, then it makes sense. In each one of these commercials is an Illuminati reference.”

Also, any resemblance of her Old Navy-loving pop diva to any names you have guessed is purely unintentional. Sot of. “I’m not channeling anyone specific,” she says. “I’m probably a combination of like, Shakira and J.Lo and Madonna and Adam Lambert.”

And as to what you should buy with the million dollars if you win? (The spot, below, will explain it all.) “Three really nice pairs of pants.” Pretty solid advice if you ask us.

Will you miss her ads? How much are you loving this one?

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Music

Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Are at It Again With ‘Spark the Fire’

We Can Survive 2014
Frazer Harrison—2014 Getty Images Pharrell Williams and Gwen Stefani perform on stage during CBS Radio's We Can Survive at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Oct. 24, 2014

Gwen Stefani and Pharrell are no strangersmost memorably, they collaborated together on her 2005 hit “Hollaback Girl”and they’re at it again, this time for Stefani’s latest single, “Spark the Fire.”

Stefani hasn’t released a new album since 2006’s The Sweet Escape, and “Spark the Fire” is the second single she’s released since then. The first was “Baby Don’t Lie,” a track she released in October.

“Spark the Fire” features some “Hollaback Girl”-reminiscent beats and lots of shout-talking from Stefani. Head over to Stereogum to listen to the track.

This article originally appeared on Ew.com

TIME celebrities

Bill Cosby Biographer Admits ‘I Was Wrong’ to Ignore Sexual-Assault Allegations

Bill Cosby Performs At The Treasure Island
Ethan Miller—Getty Images Bill Cosby performs at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Sept. 26, 2014

As women continue to come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby, several journalists have offered mea culpas for turning a blind eye to the allegations and helping paint the comedian’s falsely wholesome image as “America’s Dad.”

The latest among them is The New York Times’ David Carr, who on Monday owned up to being one of Cosby’s “media enablers.”

In addition to admitting that he, too, opted out of addressing the allegations in his”deeply unpleasant” Q&A with Cosby for an in-flight magazine in 2011, Carr called out a list of culpable parties, including The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates, The New Yorker‘s Kelefa T. Sanneh, and most critically Mark Whitaker, author of the nearly-500-page Cosby: His Life and Times biography. “Any book of the size and scope of Mr. Whitaker’s should have gone there,” Carr wrote.

Whitaker has said he didn’t want to include anything that wasn’t confirmed in Cosby, which he wrote in cooperation with the comedian. But on Monday, he made it clear he was no longer defending his decision.

“David you are right. I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively,” he wrote in response to Carr on Twitter. “I am following new developments and will address them at the appropriate time. If true the stories are shocking and horrible.”

Last week, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a piece in The Atlantic similar to Carr’s, regretting his own “recklessness” in his coverage of Cosby from 2006 to 2007.

“I don’t have many writing regrets. But this is one of them, “Coates wrote. “I regret not saying what I thought of the accusations, and then pursuing those thoughts. I regret it because the lack of pursuit puts me in league with people who either looked away, or did not look hard enough. I take it as a personal admonition to always go there, to never flinch, to never look away.”

This article originally appeared on Ew.com

TIME movies

Dustin Hoffman Smitten by ‘Scrumptious’ Judi Dench

Roald Dahl's "Esio Trot" VIP Red Carpet Screening
Nicky J Sims—Getty Images Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench attend Roald Dahl's Esio Trot VIP red-carpet screening on Nov. 12, 2014, in London

"I wouldn't have let you get away," said Hoffman of Dench

Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman admits to being starstruck by Judi Dench, after the actors appeared alongside one another in the BBC adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot. Hoffman, 77, described Dench, who is two years his senior, as a “scrumptious-looking woman.”

“I said to Judi, ‘If I met you then, I wouldn’t have let you get away,'” said Hoffman as quoted by Agence France-Presse. He appears in Esio Trot as a bachelor in love with his neighbor, played by Dench, who seems to be more inclined toward her pet tortoise.

Hoffman, who rose to stardom playing an awkward love-struck youth in late Mike Nichols masterpiece The Graduate, was hopeful of doing “a love story where we meet in our 20s but yet we’re acting as we are now.”

Esio Trot is being adapted by British screenwriter Richard Curtis, whose previous work includes the acclaimed romantic comedies Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral. His latest opus is scheduled to be screened over Christmas.

Among all the characters of his films, Curtis said last month, the couple played by Hoffman and Drench in Esio Trot were “most likely to stay together.”

[AFP]

TIME Television

Dancing With Stars Watch: The Finale — Part 1

WITNEY CARSON, ALFONSO RIBEIRO, BETHANY MOTA, DEREK HOUGH, JANEL PARRISH, VAL CHMERKOVSKIY, SADIE ROBERTSON, MARK BALLAS
Adam Taylor—ABC

Plus, somebody got sent home

It’s finally the finale of Dancing With the Stars. But before we get to the dance-floor action, this post owes a debt of gratitude to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 for illustrating the proper punctuation for a two-part finale. May the odds be ever in grammar’s favor or something.

Tonight the finalists — YouTube star Bethany Mota, Pretty Little Liar Janel Parrish, Fresh Prince forever Alfonso Ribeiro and Duck Dynasty scion Sadie Robertson — perform two dances, one chosen by the judges and one freestyle. Tonight one couple goes home and tomorrow one of them will take home the Mirror Ball Trophy. It’s all very exciting, much like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, but with more backstabbing.

Here’s what happened on Dancing With the Stars: The Finale — Part 1:

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough: Bruno Tonioli wanted to see a repeat performance of Derek and Bethany’s jive to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” and while there’s undoubtedly some calculus to the judges’ decisions, it’s easiest to believe Bruno, like the rest of us, has had that song stuck in his head for the past three months. There were some technical difficulties (the fake bedroom didn’t move quickly enough!) that affected the dancing a bit (timing!), and the judges had no problem dinging the couple for those issues, which seems unfair, but also very finale-appropriate. Derek tried to make amends by complimenting everyone (except his sister) before they handed out scores. 36/40

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas: Len Goodman opted to see Sadie and Mark’s Duck Dynasty–themed samba, because he was off judging the weirdly named Strictly Come Dancing when they performed it the first time. The real highlight came when Sadie had to barf in a bucket due to nerves. Just kidding! That wasn’t the highlight, it was when Liam Payne from One Direction showed up to rally votes for Sadie. (He’s a longtime supporter of the Robertson family, even tweeting his support when Robertson’s grandfather equated homosexuality with bestiality.) When she wins, you can either blame the Directioners or the fact that 25 of her family members are in the audience. Carrie Ann Inaba admitted that she didn’t think Sadie would be in the finale, but has learned to appreciate her skill. 38/40

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy: Janel and Val have a disadvantage because Janel was too busy on the set of Pretty Little Liars, which [SPOILER ALERT] doesn’t make much sense as Mona was [SERIOUSLY, SPOILER ALERT] very dead at the end of last season. What the heck was she doing on set? Hurry up new season! [END SPOILER ALERT]. Anyway, they were three days behind in rehearsals for the samba that Julianne Hough assigned them. It was one of their lowest-scoring dances during the season, and Janel was excited to redeem herself. However she injured her rib during rehearsal and had to samba through the pain. She still managed to get a 10 from Len, which is all she wanted for Christmas. 37/40

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson: While Janel had a rib injury and Sadie puked in a trash can, Alfonso still reigns supreme when it comes to body ails. The man was crying from pain on camera last week, after all, so he holds on to that crown. Regardless of his pain, Carrie Ann assigned him a repeat performance of the fast-paced jive. His routine was solid weeks ago, and it was downright dazzling in the finals, despite his physical decrepitude. Carrie Ann almost whacked Len on the head in her enthusiasm and Len compared Alfonso to Frank Sinatra, which is not exactly true but an impressive hyperbole nonetheless. 40/40, and Alfonso thanked all his doctors.

Bethany and Derek, freestyle: Bethany went Mad Max in her final routine (if Mad Max wore sparkles), but held her own in the Thunderdome against the troupe members who helped round out the routine. It was dramatic, dynamic and the perfect ending to the season for the YouTube star. 40/40, for a total of 76/80

Sadie and Mark, freestyle: For some reason Mark decided that their final routine should be Super Mario Bros.–themed, because why not? It is Dancing With the Stars after all, so you may as well slap on some mustaches, bedazzle Mario and Luigi, find yourself a full-size ’shroom and send them all out onto the dance floor to completely entertain your fans and bewilder Len. Julianne dubbed it “the cutest thing she had ever seen.” Bruno said it was “original and refreshing.” Even Len thought it was memorable. 40/40, for a total of 78/80

Janel and Val, freestyle: Janel said they wanted to keep their final routine “just Val and Janel,” which meant a slow, smoke-filled, sensual routine to the theme from Friends. (Val is such a Joey, amirite?) Bruno dubbed it “hypnotically beautiful.” Carrie Ann said the routine “went inside” and “changed them” (she’s such a Phoebe). 40/40, for a total of 77/80

Alfonso and Witney, freestyle: Alfonso and Witney’s routine started out as an old-timey jazz number that was reminiscent of their jive, but this time they were wearing black and white instead of taupe, and Alfonso stopped and did a tap routine in the middle of the performance. It was tight and impressive, and Alfonso didn’t seem to aggravate his groin or feel the need to say the word groin even once. 40/40, for a perfect 80/80

Who went home: At this point, everyone deserves to win, everyone has incredible talent, everyone should be very proud of themselves yada yada yada. Bethany went home. Why? Who knows! She deserved to win, has incredible talent and should be very proud of herself.

Best reason to come back tomorrow: Somebody gets to try and fit the Mirror Ball Trophy in their Uber!

TIME movies

Christian Bale ‘Jealous’ That Ben Affleck Gets to Play Batman Now

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals
Karwai Tang—WireImage/Getty Images Christian Bale attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 at The Royal Opera House on Feb. 16, 2014 in London, England

"I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour," Bale said

You’d think that after three movies with the comic-book character that Christian Bale would be ready to let go of playing Batman. Bale thought that too, but he recently admitted he was feeling “jealous” that Ben Affleck was cast as the caped crusader for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

“The fact that I’m jealous of someone else playing Batman … I think I should have gotten over it by now,” he told Empire magazine.

Bale says he hasn’t spoken with Affleck about the role, but he has emailed him with advice.

“I’ve got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, ‘Oh go on… Let’s do another,'” Bale said elsewhere in the interview. “So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour.”

[Huffington Post]

TIME Music

Watch the ‘Hunger Games’ and One Direction Mash-Up You Didn’t Know You Needed

A "Mockingjay"-inspired twist on One Direction's "Steal My Girl"

People like The Hunger Games. People like One Direction. But will these two great tastes taste great together?

Find out for yourself by listening to “Kill My Girl,” a Mockingjay-inspired twist on One Direction’s “Steal My Girl.” It’s the third in a series of Hunger Gamessong parodies by Twenty First Records, which previously put a little Panem into Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”

And it’s not even just parody, either. With sample lyrics like “I love Katniss / But Peeta’s with her / I snuck in a kiss / Our district did burn,” it’s also a handy recap for those of us who haven’t seen Mockingjay yet and need a refresher on how the last movie wrapped things up. Handy!

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com

TIME celebrities

Bono, Shia LaBeouf Lead GQ’s ‘Least Influential’ 2014 List

Bambi Awards 2014 - Show
Gisela Schober—Getty Images Bono of U2 perform on stage during the Bambi Awards 2014 show on November 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

GQ releases 2014's list of “30 Least Influential People"

As the year comes to a close, it’s time for the inevitable look back on some of the most important people, events, and releases of the year. But what about those people, events, and releases that were a complete waste of our time?

In honor of that sentiment, GQ has released 2014′s list of “30 Least Influential People,” recognizing those “who took up vast clouds of oxygen, gave us back nothing of use, and probably helped accelerate the death of our planet.”

GQ‘s Drew Magary notes that the list is not a ranking of the 30 least influential, but rather a random assortment of those who didn’t do all that much to better the earth in the last 11 months. Among them are Bono and U2—or the “Tom Friedman of rock and the rest of his band”—who earned a spot for Songs of Innocence and its forced release into every iTunes user’s library.

Also on the list are President Barack Obama for his response to major catastrophes in the last year, Robin Thicke for cheating on his wife and then writing an entire album to try to win her back, CNN for spending the majority of the year searching for a single plane, and Shia LaBeouf for… well, for being Shia LaBeouf.

Check out GQ for the entire list and bask in the ineptitude that’s been on display throughout 2014.

This article originally appeared on Entertainment Weekly

TIME Theater

An Unseen Arthur Miller Play Will Debut in 2015

Miller wrote it as a movie, but the country's political climate kept it from happening

A previously unseen play from the late Pulitzer-winning playwright Arthur Miller will debut next year.

Miller, who passed away in 2005, wrote The Hook originally as a movie, but it never came to fruition after Hollywood executives pushed Miller to make communists the villains, the BBC reports. One of Miller’s best-known plays, The Crucible, allegorically criticizes the red scare during the years of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activitees Committee, framed during the 17th century Salem witch trials.

The Hook is set in 1950s New York and follows a dockworker who encounters corruption.

“Miller was a man of extraordinary integrity,” director James Dacre said. “He was absolutely determined to depict the work as it was rather as other people demanded he describe it.”

It will premiere at the Royal & Derngate theater in Northampton, England, in June of 2015. Then, it will move to the Everyman Theater in Liverpool in July.

[BBC]

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