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The Difference Between Lena Dunham and Aziz Ansari’s Million-Dollar Book Deals

Hey, remember when Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s ‘Learned’ (now a book that you can touch with your own hands), was first announced to the media in late 2012? Headlines like “Lena Dunham has a memoir” and “Lena Dunham’s memoir is going to auction $1 million as a minimum” were the source of quite a few slings and arrows in the press.

Dunham’s memoir sold for an advance of $3.7 million, a price that was par for the course in the context of the slew of celebrity memoirs that hits bookstores each month — just a year later, Parks and Recreation‘s Aziz Ansari, sold his currently untitled book, described as a look at “modern romance,” for $3.5 million. I was reminded of this when writing about Not That Kind of Girl earlier, and I thought that Dunham’s and Anzari’s advances were worth some comparison. … Read More

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A Requiem for Saturday Morning Cartoons

It’s pretty easy to lose track of what Saturday morning television looks like, once you transition from spending that time playing to spending that time nursing a hangover. So your correspondent was more than a little floored to discover (thanks to /Film) that Saturday morning cartoons are over, dead, gone, pushing up daisies, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. The CW (the good ol’ CW, God bless ‘em, they keep tryin’) was the final broadcast network to program a Saturday morning block of cartoon shows; that block aired for the last time over the weekend. It’s the end of an era, folks, so forgive me for getting a little nostalgic. … Read More

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No, Thom Yorke’s ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ Won’t Reinvent the Music Biz Through BitTorrent

“Thom Yorke hates Spotify” is one of the first Google auto-fills that pop up for me when I enter the Radiohead frontman’s name. I can’t say I remember ever googling that particular phrase, perhaps because I know it to be a fact. The series of tweets he rattled off about music’s most popular streaming service, along with frequent producer and Atoms For Producer bandmate Nigel Godrich, have become beef as classic as a Big Mac. Still, Yorke really did put his money where his mouth is when he removed portions of his discography (Atoms for Peace’s AMOK and his 2006 solo debut, The Eraser) from the streaming service. … Read More

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Bret Easton Ellis Is the Latest Voice of Generation X to Attack Social Media-Obsessed Millennials

If you’re going to devote a lengthy article to explaining why you’re inherently just better than about 80 million people you’ve never met, it’s perhaps not especially wise to start it with a mention of the fact that you wrote this. Such things, however, do not concern Bret Easton Ellis, who has doubled down on the interview he gave to VICE last year, in which he pronounced the millennial generation to be “Generation Wuss,” by penning 2,000 words for Vanity Fair‘s French edition about, yes, why he considers the millennial generation to be “Generation Wuss.” The article comes accompanied, with crushing inevitability, by a picture of Lena Dunham. … Read More

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Stop Calling David Fincher a “Control Freak”

As you may have heard, David Fincher’s terrific adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller Gone Girl premiered last weekend at the New York Film Festival. So your film editor was perusing some of the coverage of that premiere, like ya do, when I came upon Anne Thompson’s analysis of the “Three Reasons to Worry About Gone Girl.” She mostly examines the film’s chances at box office success and Oscar gold (ugh), but this is the line that jumped out at me: “Fincher was being typically controlling during the press conference, exhorting the press to hide Gone Girl plot spoilers — while the bestseller is still flying off bookshelves — and refusing to allow anyone to record the NYFF press conference.” It’s not often that you see three consecutive inaccuracies in the same sentence, but that’s what happens when you have to conform your facts to a preexisting narrative — in this case, that Fincher is some sort of cruel, demented control freak. It’s a narrative that’s been floating around for a while now, and the more you think about it, the sillier it is. … Read More

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‘Family Guy’ Injects Cruelty Into ‘The Simpsons’ in Awful Crossover Episode

A crossover episode between Family Guy and The Simpsons has been inevitable since the former premiered. The only surprising thing is that it took this long for it to finally happen. It’s a smart gimmick, regardless of your personal opinion on Family Guy, because regular viewers of The Simpsons will check in just to see how big of a wreck it could be. And last night’s convergence really was a wreck that showcased the general awfulness of Family Guy by introducing its offensive brand of cruelty to the town of Springfield.  … Read More

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Brigitte Bardot’s Most Iconic Music and Film Fashion Moments

French sex symbol, singer, and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot celebrates her 80th birthday today. The blonde bombshell actress—who once became the official face of France’s national emblem in 1969, Marianne—is known for her effortless style. Bardot retreated from the spotlight more than 40 years ago, but thankfully we have her music and film projects to pour over for style tips. Here are ten of Bardot’s most iconic fashion moments. … Read More

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A Beautiful Six-Year Photo Series Documenting the Lives of Two Transgender Girls

For six years, documentary photographer Willeke Duijvekam photographed the everyday lives of two young transgender women, Mandy and Eva, who were born boys. Duijvekam captures their physical transformation into confident young women, but the photographer’s ability to reveal their inner worlds is quite beautiful. Duijvekam likes to embark on long-term projects to enhance the bond between photographer and subject. The intimacy is evident here as Duijvekam’s camera is allowed inside the most sacred of spaces: the teenage bedroom. Duijvekam’s book of Mandy and Eva’s photos echoes the girls’ connection. As Beautiful/Decay explains: … Read More

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David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl': Top-Shelf Mystery and Pitch-Black Comedy

David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl opens not with an abduction or a murder, but with Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), in voice-over, talking about his wife’s head. “I picture cracking her lovely skull, unspooling her brains,” he says, over a close-up of the cranium in question. “Trying to get answers: What are you thinking? What are you feeling? What have we done to each other?” This is how the movie begins; this is what it’s about. Gone Girl may come advertised as a thriller, but that’s Fincher being a trickster—he’s gone and made the curtest, nastiest, most acidic black comedy about the marital accord since The War of the Roses. … Read More

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‘David Bowie Is’ the Movie Doesn’t Do ‘David Bowie Is’ the Exhibit Justice

A documentary about a museum exhibit is a hard sell. Why not skip the middle man and see the exhibit for yourself? But when it comes to David Bowie, there are no rules. Fans will not only come out for a documentary cataloguing the Victoria & Albert Museum’s groundbreaking David Bowie Is exhibit, they’ll travel far and wide to see the V&A’s career-spanning deep-dive in person. … Read More

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