‘The Zero Theorem’ Is Terry Gilliam at His Gilliam-est

The 2000s haven’t been so good to Terry Gilliam. He’s a filmmaker of singular style and distinctive vision, one whose pictures are immediately identifiable, and unmistakable for anyone else’s; he’s one of the few directors whose surname has become a description of its own, and “Gilliam-esque” demands as little explanation as “Hitchcockian” or “Fellini-esque” in movie geek circles. But after a run of jaw-dropping quality and unparalleled imagination in the 1980s and 1990s, his recent output has been uneven and problematic. Now there is a new Gilliam film, already available on demand and in theaters tomorrow; it’s called The Zero Theorem, and while it doesn’t match his previous masterpieces, it frequently manages to recapture the anti-authoritarian spirit and whirling dervish quality of his best work. … Read More

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Iggy Azalea, Andrew WK, and the Paradox of Authenticity in Pop Music

The question of authenticity in music is one of those debates that surfaces periodically, and it’s raised its scaly head a few times this week. Most notably, it’s manifested in two places: in Perfect Pussy singer Meredith Graves’ Basilica Soundscape talk on Andrew WK and Lana Del Rey, and the differing standards of authenticity to which she claims they’re held; and in the fact that someone at Billboard thought it was a great idea to get Robert Christgau to review Iggy Azalea’s New Classic, a review in which he compares her to the Beatles, suggests that Tupac’s “flow was never world class,” and holds forth on how Azalea’s authenticity, or lack thereof, matters not a jot. So, who’s right? Do we care about authenticity anymore? The answer, I’d argue, isn’t as simple as either Graves or Christgau wants to argue. … Read More

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Find Out What Kim Cattrall, Gloria Steinem, and President Taft Have in Common: Links You Need to See

You know how people who quote Family Guy all the time kind of… suck? And have become an actual genre of people who suck? Because Family Guy is only ever quoting other things? And people who quote it are thus only ever regurgitating regurgitation, creating such a bilious verbal mess as to make you wish Family Guy never existed, which perhaps Family Guy doesn’t deserve? Well, I’d hate to think such a thing could happen with so dear a show as Arrested Development, and yet here I am, posting this link with quotable Arrested Development moments, because secretly, I want to be loved. So love me, love these quotes, but just don’t abuse them. Otherwise, you know, “you can say goodbye to these.” … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Longform You Have to Read: Moving to the Country

In a world where you have more options for satisfying your longform reading needs than ever, your friends here at Flavorwire are taking the time once a week to highlight some of the best that journalism has to offer. Whether they’re unified by topic, publication, writer, their status as classics, or just by a general feeling, these articles all have one thing in common: they’re essential reading. This week, we’re trading the city life for an idyllic country move. … Read More

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Revealing Photos of Burlesque Performers In and Out of Costume

Speak to enough burlesque dancers, and you’ll learn that many of them began performing in hopes of finding not a full-time career but a creative outlet — a way to inject a dose of glamor into their daily lives. Sean Scheidt, a photographer who works out of Baltimore, New York, and LA, captures the fascinating and sometimes incongruous relationships between performers’ onstage personae and civilian identities in his series Burlesque, which pairs in-costume photos with shots of the same ladies (and the occasional dude) in their street clothes. … Read More

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I Went to Central Perk Alone and Didn’t Make Any Friends

Can you believe it was just 20 years ago that Friends debuted and, along with Seinfeld, totally invented the sit-around-and-talk sitcom? Well, it’s true: Friends – and Central Perk along with it – turns 20 next week, and so Eight O’Clock coffee has partnered with NBC to recreate Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe, and Joey’s favorite coffee shop, right down in Soho. Even James Michael Tyler, the man who played the perpetually grumpy barista Gunther, is said to be making random appearances. As a mild-to-moderate Friends fan who works a few blocks away, I had to check it out. Unfortunately, my coworkers had yet to arrive at the office, so I embarked upon the journey alone. … Read More

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‘The Mysteries of Laura’s’ Biggest Mystery: How Did This Show Get Made in 2014?

Oh, there are so many mysteries in The Mysteries of Laura, NBC’s new cop drama/motherhood comedy. The first mystery is, of course, why this show was made in 2014. It follows the template of the horrid “Can women have it all?” genre of television show that should, by now, be extinct. It reads as self-parody — the god-awful posters that disfigure Debra Messing’s arms have her standing in the middle of her two lives: on one side, she handcuffs a criminal as her partner smiles; on the other, she is wrangling two misbehaving children as her husband smolders on, oblivious. Messing might as well be performing a Modern Woman Circus Act, in which she literally juggles a screaming child, a loaded gun, a wedding ring, and an actual cop car — all while chasing down a perp as she chaperones a school trip.  … Read More

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Why Is Jealousy So Boring in the Age of Clickbait?

In an article for Salon, Nathan Rabin — a journalist and author who’s worked for The A.V. Club and The Dissolve, while publishing four books ranging from a memoir to a Weird Al coffee table book — confesses that he has a raging case of jealousy regarding young adult superstar John Green. Ten years ago, Rabin and Green were knocking around Chicago at the same time, in the same dopey place in their lives, both occasionally appearing at a reading series called Funny Ha Ha. Green would, as Rabin noted, read the same essay about getting a colonoscopy, and once he was done reading, he’d sit right up front and laugh at everything Rabin would read, whether it was good or not. Green was generous. … Read More

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‘This Is Where I Leave You': Score One for TV in the Film vs. Television Debate

There’s a part of this superhero-fatigued moviegoer that wants to just endorse This Is Where I Leave You on general principle and be done with it. This is, on paper, everything I hope for from mainstream, middlebrow cinema these days, the kind of movie tentpole-obsessed studios rarely bother to make anymore: a mid-budget, R-rated, serio-comic drama with a brain, a heart, and a good cast. “Good” is an understatement, really; this is a movie all but bursting with terrific actors. Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Debra Monk, Abigail Spencer, Ben Schwartz — even the bit players are terrific. And it speaks volumes about the current shortage of this type of project that so many talented people were willing to attach themselves to a picture as subpar as this one. … Read More

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