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Film Review: ‘The Desert Bride’

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:33 AM PDT

It’s a wonderful thing to be proven wrong after declaring a little-known character actor to have had a once-in-a-career moment — when that unforeseen breakthrough merely paves the way for an unexpectedly fruitful career. So it is with Chile’s Paulina Garcia, whose vibrant late-career performance in 2013’s “Gloria” turned out to be a fixed bolt from the blue, its reverberations running the gamut from TV’s “Narcos” to Ira Sachs’ “Little Men.” Now, in Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato‘s wistfully gorgeous miniature “The Desert Bride,” it has a true and worthy companion piece.

Another story of middle-aged female loneliness and displacement, Atán and Pivato’s anecdote-scaled film is presented through a quieter, more fragile narrative prism than “Gloria’s,” as a repressed domestic worker’s unplanned pit stop en route to a new job opens the narrowest of windows onto a new life altogether. It’s a loving showcase for its star’s most finely wrought powers of expression, but equally beguiling as a display of its first-time helmers’ gentle observational acuity and surprisingly inventive visual storytelling. Speckled with bejeweled oases of color, made dreamlike through shifting schemes of framing and focus, “The Desert Bride‘s” unassuming tale winds up as enticingly unfamiliar as a shoal of opalescent sea glass somehow washed up in inland barrens. A highlight of last year’s Un Certain Regard program in Cannes, it promises grander delights still from the women behind it.

For Teresa (Garcia), a 54-year-old maid newly laid off by her employers of three decades in Buenos Aires, the future doesn’t look any brighter than her past — revealed, in delicate, prudently placed slices of flashback, as one of cautious subservience and secondhand affections. The family to whom she catered treated her kindly, while she formed a doting, quasi-maternal attachment to their now-grown son, but financial constraints have forced the house to be sold and Teresa to be let go. Unemployment is perhaps less of a blow than the sudden departure of her surrogate family, placing in cruel relief the fact that she’s never forged any more intimate relationships of her own. Reluctantly, she’s transferred across the country by her employers, to relatives of theirs in San Juan; Teresa has long forgotten what it is to live life on her terms.

Halfway along the journey between the two cities, however, the bus breaks down, stranding Teresa and her fellow passengers in a dusty, remote village notable only among pilgrims as a shrine to Saint Correa: the patron saint, as it happens, of travelers. Teresa isn’t especially appreciative of the irony, least of all when a chain of mishaps –and a sudden tempest with a breath of magical realism on its breeze — causes her to leave her bag in the van of cheery traveling salesman El Gringo (played with a gruff, wily twinkle by Claudio Rissi), only noticing once he’s shut up shop and hit the road. Cue a film-long hunt for the missing bag, which may contain all she owns, but is otherwise little more than a MacGuffin, its absence stalling Teresa’s life long enough to make her appraise her existence, and the ways in which she could take ownership of it.

None of this is explicitly stated, thank goodness, in Atán and Pivato’s spare but drolly perceptive slip of a script, just as her growing rapport with the rough-hewn but soft-hearted El Gringo — who professes no knowledge of the bag’s whereabouts once she tracks him down — isn’t forced into a late-bloomers’ romance. More than anything, “The Desert Bride” is interested simply in letting Teresa be, which might sound an unexciting objective until you consider how long it’s been since she was last allowed to do just that. Once you adjust to the scale of its drama, the smallest dawnings of possibility become riveting; as played by Garcia, whose storied but tightly controlled face slowly blossoms with realisation, even a half-smile becomes seismic.

This is a film of minor gestures, conversations and incidents, made major through the difference they make to a woman who has never been the subject of any story: Garcia’s face and voice open up beautifully as Teresa accepts her place in the center. It’s a performance with which the marvelous cinematographer Sergio Armstrong (working in a softer, more shimmery register than in his collaborations with Pablo Larraín) is in perfect sympathy, blurring portions of the frame seemingly in tandem with her own raddled state of mind, and giving way to airy, iridescently colored tableaux as the inner fog clears. Atán and Pivato control every formal element here — from the chiming, whispery score and sound design to Andrea Chignoli’s fluid, rhythmic editing — with a precision that seems entirely unforced: As a story about drifting into grace, “The Desert Bride” is crafted accordingly.

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly Team Up in New ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ Trailer

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:29 AM PDT

Marvel‘s newest trailer for “Ant-Man and the Wasp” addresses the question fans and superheroes alike have been wondering after “Avengers: Infinity War” — Where were Ant-Man and the Wasp?

The new footage released Tuesday shows what Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man and Evangeline Lilly’s the Wasp have been up to since 2015’s Ant-Man.”

“I do some dumb things,” Rudd’s Scott Lang says in the trailer. “The people I love the most, they pay the price.”

The new footage continues the first trailer’s theme of spotlighting feminine forces, with more clips of Lilly’s Wasp flying past her opponents. On a mission to rescue her mother, she teams up with Ant-Man to exterminate their newfound foes.

Peyton Reed directed the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which also stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, and Hannah John-Kamen. Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Charles Newirth, and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Rudd, Andrew Barrer and Gabriel Ferrari wrote the screenplay.

The film comes on the heels of Marvel‘s most recent success, “Avengers: Infinity War,” which landed the biggest opening weekend of all time. The action adventure earned $258.2 million in North America, along with $382.7 million overseas for a global tally of $640.9 million.

“Ant-Man and the Wasp” hits theaters July 6. Watch the trailer above.

‘Dark Souls: Remastered’ Network Test for PS4, XB1 Detailed

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:25 AM PDT

The “Dark Souls: Remastered” Network Test for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One runs May 11 and May 12, Bandai Namco announced Tuesday. The network test for the Nintendo Switch version of the game will be “later this summer.”

If you’re interested in checking out the test on either the PS3 or XB1, the details of those tests are below:

What: “Dark Souls: Remastered” Network Test for PlayStation 4 system and Xbox One.
When: May 11th and May 12th from 6:00pm PDT to 11:59pm PDT each day for the Americas
How: Download the”Dark Souls: Remastered” Network Test client from May 1st through 11:59pm PDT on May 8th on PlayStation 4 system and Xbox One (Xbox Gold subscription required to participate) to be part of the test. At 11:59pm PDT on May 8th the network test client will be removed, and no new participants will be accepted.

“Dark Souls: Remastered” launches on the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One, and PC via Steam on May 25, 2018. The Nintendo Switch version of the game as well as its Solaire amiibo will be available later this summer.

The Nintendo Switch version of the game was initially expected to roll out with the other versions of the game, but was delayed last month.

“The new release timing gives the development team the time needed to make sure Nintendo Switch players can fully appreciate the true ‘Dark Souls’ experience anytime and anywhere, thanks to the unique portable nature of the Nintendo Switch console,” according to a press release put out at the time by Namco Bandai.

Bandai Namco wasn’t more specific about the reasons for the delay, but it is worth noting that the game still hasn’t had the announced network test that was supposed to hit the Nintendo eShop “soon” after the game’s March 8 announcement. Nintendo Switch Online is meant to hit this September.

The remastered port will include the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, as well as improved framerate and resolution from the original “Dark Souls” game. This marks the franchise’s debut on a Nintendo platform and as a portable title. Remastered will deliver “unique capabilities” for the Switch version and dynamic 4K resolution to the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X and on Steam. Bandai Namco says that the game will allow up to six players to join online to help, or hurt, each other throughout their quest.

“‘Dark Souls: Remastered’ delivers the same great gameplay, online mechanics, and environmental storytelling that has inspired countless game players and developers,” Kasumi Yogi, associate brand manager for Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc., said in a statement. “We are excited to watch the thriving ‘Dark Souls’ community grow and support new players experiencing the title for the first time.”

Childish Gambino Signs Publishing Deal With Kobalt

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:24 AM PDT

Kobalt Music announced that it has signed Grammy award-winning “actor, comedian, writer, director, producer, singer, songwriter, rapper, and DJ” Donald Glover, a.k.a., Childish Gambino to a publishing deal. The worldwide agreement includes publishing administration, including global synch and creative support services, for all of Childish Gambino‘s future songs after his “Awaken, My Love!” album, which was released in December 2016 and nominated for five Grammys and won one, for its hit single “Redbone.” In addition, Kobalt has signed Wolf + Rothstein, Glover’s musical teams of collective songwriters and artists for publishing administration, global synch and creative support services.

Gambino recently signed with RCA Records after six years and three albums with indie Glassnote. He is set to perform on “Saturday Night Live” on May 5; new music is expected later this year.

Said Kobalt Music SVP, Creative, Al McLean, of the deal, “Donald is one of those rare multi-talented artists who can do it all. It’s an honor to sign Donald and Wolf + Rothstein Collective to the Kobalt family.”

The Los Angeles-based Wolf + Rothstein is the creative agency comprised of Glover, Wolf Taylor, and Fam Rothstein, all whom worked with the band that helped compose “Awaken My Love!”

“Wolf and Rothstein is excited to partner with Kobalt for publishing,” said Taylor of Wolf + Rothstein. “We’re looking forward to growing the roster together.”

 

 

Bruce Springsteen to Receive Special Tony Award for Broadway Show

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:11 AM PDT

The Tony Awards will honor Bruce Springsteen in June for his production of “Springsteen on Broadway.” In the live-streamed ceremony early Tuesday morning announcing this year’s nominations, “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. called “Springsteen on Broadway,” which is performed entirely solo by the artist except for two songs where he is joined by his wife, singer Patti Scialfa, a “theatergoing experience of extraordinary dimensions.”

(Read Variety’s review of an opening-week show here.)

Springsteen recently extended the show, which has been one of Broadway’s hottest tickets since it launched in October, until December 15, with 81 shows added beginning on July 10. This marks the third time “Springsteen on Broadway” has been extended since its initial eight-week run. The current run of shows concludes on June 30.

The wording of the extension announcement seemed to leave open the possibility that Springsteen could perform the show elsewhere: At various points it reads “December 15th to be the final show of Broadway run” and references “a final New York City show on Dec. 15”). In an interview with Variety in September shortly before the show’s Oct. 3 launch, Springsteen left the show’s end point open — “Whether there’ll be more [shows added after the initial 16-week run] I’m not sure, we’ll have to see how I feel” — and that seems to have been his approach throughout.

In a review of the show’s 95th-or-so performance last month, Variety noted, “Five months [into the run], the Boss is showing seasoning and increased comfort as well as some understandable, unsurprising impatience with his latest creation. … at points on this night his delivery felt a little worn, but those moments were far outnumbered by ones that took on shadings and emotions that have evolved as he’s settled into the show. He’s changed up the script without deviating from its main points, and rarely used the teleprompters that he relied upon heavily during the early shows. But most of all, his performance has become more, well, theatrical. After decades of arena-sized body language, he’s scaled himself down without losing any of his enormous presence — his body has learned a new language. He’s figured out how to be larger-than-life in a small place: He’s learned the power of stillness, how to use pauses for dramatic and comic effect, and how to use his body almost as a set piece and secondary — and at times a primary — form of communication.”

“Springsteen On Broadway” began previews on October 3rd, 2017 and officially opened October 12th. By the end of his previously announced Broadway run on June 30th, Bruce Springsteen will have performed 155 sold-out shows at the Walter Kerr Theatre. This extension will bring the total number of “Springsteen on Broadway” performances to 236.

 

CMT Renews Multi-Year Production Deal With John Hamlin (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:00 AM PDT

CMT has renewed a multi-year production deal with John Hamlin‘s Switched On Entertainment, Frank Tanki. the network’s General Manager, announced today (May 1). Hamlin has, and will continue to, serve as executive producer of such marquee music events as the “CMT Music Awards,” “CMT Artists of the Year” and “CMT Crossroads,” with an option to develop new events and television specials.

The network, a unit of Viacom, recently saw a ratings surge with its fall franchise “CMT Artists of the Year.” “CMT Crossroads,” which has paired such acts as Florida Georgia Line with Backstreet Boys, and Lady Antebellum with Stevie Nicks, also saw its highest ratings in five years. The numbers fall in line with a stellar quarter for the music and lifestyle net, its fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year ratings growth.

Said Tanki of Hamlin: “John’s critical eye as a producer, deep relationships within the artist community and boundless affection for our brand has elevated our revered music series and specials to new critical and ratings highs. We are thankful they remain in his capable hands.”

Hamlin, who is based in Nashville, previously served as CMT’s Senior VP of Music Events and Talent. He launched Switched On Entertainment as a multi-faceted creative content production and artist management company.

Kesha is ‘taking control’ of her life after her Dr. Luke legal battle

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Kesha says she’s “taking control” of her life following her legal battle with Dr. Luke.

The 31-year-old singer is gearing up for a 30-date tour with Macklemore, entitled ‘The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore’, and she’s promised fans she won’t be any “less crazy” at the shows as she is not feeling like a “sad sap” anymore.

Speaking to the June issue of the US edition of Cosmopolitan magazine, Kesha – who is in a relationship with Brad Ashenfelter – said: “I’ve taken ownership of myself. I’m taking control of my life and my name and the music it’s attached to. I’m not, like, a sad sap now. There are a couple of ballads, but my show is still extremely fun.

“I’m not going to be less crazy. There’s an awesome band, and there’s dancing and glitter. That’s a promise I will keep – there will always be glitter.”

In 2014, Kesha accused the music producer of sexually abusing her, drugging her, and emotionally abusing her for years, but he profusely denied the claims.

In February 2016, Luke tweeted: “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her. Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.”

However, Kesha went on to release her third album ‘Rainbow’ last year, despite still being tied to Dr. Luke’s label.

The ‘Tik Tok’ hitmaker was subsequently nominated for two Grammys in 2018, for Best Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Vocal Album for the record, which she used to channel the “pain” she felt throughout the difficult period in her life.

She explained: “I would write, and pain would turn into art, and the art would turn into healing, and the heal­ing turned into a record. And then I was nominated for a Grammy!”

Kesha also checked herself into a rehab clinic during that time as she was suffering with an eating disorder.

However, she now feels confident in her own skin and “loves her junk”, something she didn’t imagine to be possible.

She said: “The final straw was when I was with my mom at a family dinner party and I was so anxious. Driving home, I had to pull over, and I was like, I can’t keep this secret anymore. It was scary, but I finally put my foot down and chose life.

“That was a huge turning point.

“I’m not a size. I’m not a number. I am a strong, badass, motherf***ing woman, and quite frankly, I like my junk. 10 years ago, I never thought I’d be able to say that.”

Tom Hanks shares throwback on 30th wedding anniversary

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Tom Hanks has shared a throwback of himself and his wife to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

The ‘Sully’ star toasted 30 years of marriage with Rita Wilson on Monday (04.30.18) by taking to his Instagram account to upload a picture of them on their big day in 1988 alongside another snap of the pair more recently.

He added the caption: “30 years on April 30. ’88 To ’18. Magic numbers. Hanx and @RitaWilson (sic)”

Rita also posted the same picture of the couple, and admitted she is “grateful” they have been together for so long.

She wrote: “April 30,1988-April 30,2018 Thirty on Thirty. Keeping love alive. Grateful. (sic)”

Tom, 61, opened up about his love for his 61-year-old wife last year, admitting he knew there was something “crazy great” about his significant other on the day he met her.

He said: “I will say that right from the get-go, I thought there was something crazy great about her.

“I met her and I thought ‘Oh lord’ … there’s something cookin’ here.”

‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ actress Rita previously gushed over Tom – who she has sons Chet, 27, and Truman, 22, with – revealing he assured her during one of their first meetings than she would “never have to change” during their relationship.

Speaking in 2012, she said: “I’ll never forget, we were standing on the corner of 57th and 5th in New York, or 58th and 5th.

“We were holding hands and we were waiting for the traffic light to change. And he looked at me and he said, ‘You know, I just want you to know, that you never have to change anything about who you are in order to be with me.’ “

Justin Timberlake hooked up with a Spice Girl

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Justin Timberlake has spilled that he once hooked up with a member of the Spice Girls.

The pop heartthrob and his *NSYNC bandmates – Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, JC Chasez and Joey Fatone – took part in a game of Never Have I Ever on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ on Tuesday (01.05.18) when they appeared for an interview following the boy band being honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday (04.30.18).

During the game the guys had to respond either “I have” or “I have never” to the statement “never have I ever hooked up with a Spice Girl”.

Whilst four members turned their paddles to read “I have never”, Justin hesitated to turn his to reveal his answer was “I have”, prompting Ellen to place a paddle with those words on his knee forcing him to turn his own too.

During the fun game, Justin asked: “Why is every question, have I ever hooked up?”

Although he revealed he’d had a fling with one of the five girls – Mel B, Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Geri Horner – the 37-year-old singer did not tell Ellen which one it was he bedded.

To save a squirming Justin – who is now married to actress Jessica Biel – from further embarrassment, Ellen, 60, quickly moved the game on.

During the game, the *NSYNC boys also all admitted that they’d hooked up with someone on their tour bus, but none of them had made love to one of their own songs.

Both groups were popular at the same time in the 1990s and Victoria Beckham previously revealed that the two bands first met at an airport in Germany.

During an interview on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ last year, she said: “I wouldn’t say that I was obsessed, but when we were in the Spice Girls, we were in Germany doing some road show and we were sitting there in an airport, five girls, all together. Some guy comes up and he says, ‘Hey! I’m in a band. I’ve got my friends. Can we come sing for you?’ They stood there and they could sing! And it was *NSYNC and that was Justin Timberlake. They shut us up because they were good!”

Tina Fey’s Mean Girls receives 12 Tony Award nominations

Posted: 01 May 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Tina Fey’s ‘Mean Girls’ musical has received 12 nominations for the 2018 Tony Awards.

The acclaimed theatre production – which is based on the popular 2004 film of the same name – has been nominated for a host of gongs for the event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 10, including Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design of a Musical.

The show – which premiered at the National Theatre in Washington DC in October last year – is joined on 12 nominations by the ‘SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical’, which was first performed in June 2016 and is directed by Tina Landau.

‘SpongeBob’ has received nods for awards such as Best Book of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical and Best Direction of a Musical for Tina.

Other productions that received significant recognition included ‘Angels in America’, which stars Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane, and ‘Carousel’, which features Joshua Henry and Jessie Mueller.

‘Angels in America’, ‘Carousel’, and ‘The Band’s Visit’ – which is based on the 2007 film of the same name by Israeli director Eran Kolirin – each received 11 nominations in total.

Meanwhile, the much-hyped ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ – which premiered in London in June 2016 – and a revival of ‘My Fair Lady’ have both been handed ten nominations.

The Tony Awards – which are being presented by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban this year – are also set to recognize the career accomplishments of Chita Rivera and Andrew Lloyd Webber, both of whom will be awarded Lifetime Achievement awards.

And Bruce Springsteen – whose solo show was declared ineligible for the awards because Tony voters weren’t invited to the production – will be given a special honorary recognition.

Springsteen, 68, declined to invite the voters because he didn’t want his loyal fans to miss out on seeing the production.

Select Tony Awards 2018 nominations:

Best Musical:

The Band’s Visit

Frozen

Mean Girls

SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical

Best Play:

The Children

Farinelli and the King

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Junk

Latin History for Morons

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical:

Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady

Joshua Henry, Carousel

Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit

Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical:

Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady

Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island

LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit

Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls

Jessie Mueller, Carousel

Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play:

Andrew Garfield, Angels in America

Tom Hollander, Travesties

Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Mark Rylance, Farinelli and the King

Denzel Washington, The Iceman Cometh

Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play:

Glenda Jackson, Three Tall Women

Condola Rashad, Saint Joan

Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God

Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower

Best Musical Revival:

Carousel

Once On This Island

My Fair Lady

Best Play Revival:

Angels in America

Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women

Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Lobby Hero

Travesties