buzz

“They’re So Impossibly Young”: ‘The Kill Team’ Director Dan Krauss on American Soldiers, Murder, and Morality

Dan Krauss’ documentary The Kill Team, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, is a compelling and horrifying examination of one soldier’s moral morass in the face of war crimes in Afghanistan. “The Kill Team” was the nickname given to a rogue squadron of soldiers in the US Military who murdered Afghan civilians. Led by Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, a man who collected the fingers of the victims as trophies, the team planted weapons on the dead so that the murders looked like justifiable incidents. The film profiles one soldier, 100-pound weakling Specialist Adam Winfeld, who was on trial for one count of premeditated murder. … Read More

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If “R + L = J” Blew Your Mind, Just Watch These Insane ‘Game of Thrones’ Conspiracy Theory Videos

In the past couple of weeks, n00bs who haven’t been reading A Song of Ice and Fire (and talking about it on Internet forums) since 1997 took notice of a certain fan theory called “R+L=J.” Its thesis — that Jon Snow is actually Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen’s kid, not Ned Stark’s — is so well-supported that the theory’s about as controversial as saying Tyrion’s your favorite character. But as we pointed out a few months ago, “R + L = J” is just a tip of the speculative iceberg. An iceberg that’s also home to YouTube user Preston Jacobs, whose theories are among the most comprehensive I’ve seen to date. They’re also completely addictive, and also a little bit batshit. … Read More

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Awful Summer One-Hit Wonders: Where Are They Now?

With summer comes the perennial debate about what song gets to be crowned the official Song of the Summer. The thing is, though, that the crown can sit pretty damn heavy, especially when it gets to the point that everyone’s heard your song so many times they’d happily stab themselves before hearing it again. And the other thing is: a lot of these songs are awful. So bad, in fact, that their authors haven’t been heard from for quite some time. Whatever did happen to Las Ketchup? Or the guy who made “Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”? Wonder no longer, because we have (most of) the answers. … Read More

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The Definitive Ranking of Dudes Covering “Royals”

Between scowling at a Cubs games and ending up a meme, Jack White found time to cover Lorde’s “Royals” this week. The news wasn’t all that surprising for two reasons: White has been covering pop songs, like Jay Z’s “99 Problems” and Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead,” on his current tour; and old-school rock dudes love them some “Royals.” (I personally think the latter has to do with its message of anti-consumerism harkening back to a time WHEN ROCK MUSIC RAILED AGAINST SOMETHING, damn youths, grumble grumble, etc.) Most singles that spend more than a couple weeks at No. 1 are going to garner a bevy of covers — from up-and-comers and YouTube unknowns alike — but Lorde’s breakthrough really has inspired an astonishing number of covers… from dudes you would not expect. Let’s take a look at who covered it best, shall we? Worst comes first. … Read More

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‘Lucy,’ ‘Nikita,’ and the State of the Female Action Movie

There’s a scene about halfway into Luc Besson’s Lucy, which finds Scarlett Johansson’s title character striding down a luxury hotel hallway in slow-motion, a gun in each hand, as the operatic music favored by the film’s supervillian swells on the soundtrack. It’s a scene you’ve seen in a million other disposable action movies, but it packs a giddy, sneaky punch here, and not just because it’s well directed by Besson (though it is), or because Johansson is so exuberantly sexy (though she is). The scene works, jumps from the screen and bounces around the auditorium, because the sight of a tough female action hero is still rare enough to give the audience an extra jolt. Say what you will about Lucy, which is an absurdly silly and sometimes aggressively stupid movie, but it’s at least interested in showing us something new. … Read More

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What If ‘Boyhood’ Were ‘Girlhood’? A Thought Experiment

“Fuck Boyhood, where’s Girlhood?” Critical responses to Richard Linklater’s new film have been rhapsodic, to the extent that The Guardian recently ran a piece analyzing its perfect Rotten Tomatoes rating (which has since slipped to 99 percent, along with the deeply flawed likes of The Godfather, Part II). And yet, both on social media and in private conversations, I’ve heard versions of this question posed seriously and jokingly and in ways best described as “kidding/not kidding.” I’ve even said something like it once or twice myself, mostly poking fun at my own tendencies toward feminist bean-counting. … Read More

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5 Great Forbidden Love Stories With ‘Like No Other’ Author Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche‘s Like No Other is a wonderful romance between two Brooklyn teenagers — Devorah, an Orthodox Jew, and Jaxon, a black nerd — whose paths cross when they’re trapped in a hospital elevator during a hurricane. Despite the fact that they both live in Crown Heights, their paths would’ve never crossed otherwise, as Devorah is part of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, which exists in its own cloistered world — a world that, historically, has had tensions with Crown Heights’ African American population. … Read More

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Hollywood’s LGBT Representation Numbers Are Depressing — But GLAAD Is Wrong About How to Fix Them

Well here we are again, have a seat, put your feet up; there’s a new study on diversity in Hollywood and, unsurprisingly, it’s really fucking terrible. GLAAD has released its second annual Studio Responsibility Index, which “maps the quantity, quality and diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in films released by seven major motion picture studios during the 2013 calendar year.” The results are about what you’d expect: Of the 102 feature films released by major studios in 2013, exactly 17 of them so much as included an LGBT character. And less than half of those were characters with more than a single (often defamatory) dimension. It’d be pretty depressing if it weren’t so terribly predictable! … Read More

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Rare Vintage Photos of Big-City Burlesque Beauties of the 1950s

Although it ceased publication in 1955, the Brooklyn Eagle, which was founded in 1841, had the good mind to give its archives over to the Brooklyn Public Library. And while people like to talk about the time we’re living in now as the Golden Era of Brooklyn, one only has to take a few minutes to look through these archives to see that there was truly no place like Brooklyn during the first half of the 20th century. … Read More

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Everything We Know About ‘Fargo’ Season 2 So Far

FX’s Fargo was perhaps the most surprising debut of 2014, and one of the best shows of the TV season. It took a questionable premise — a television adaptation of the Coen Brothers’ film — and turned it into a completely new story filled with rich characters, beautiful cinematography, and nail-biting tension. The show, which will vie for an Emmy as a miniseries, was recently renewed for a ten-episode second season. At the TCA Press Tour, Fargo creator Noah Hawley revealed plenty of details about Season 2, which is set to air in 2015. Here is everything we know so far.  … Read More

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