Lena Dunham’s BuzzFeed Op-Ed Illuminates the Difficulties of Telling Rape Stories

After Random House announced that it would change the pseudonym Lena Dunham used to describe the man who assaulted her in college— due to his similarity to a real person with the same name — Dunham penned an op-ed for BuzzFeed, recounting the aftermath of writing about assault. She explained that revenge and outing her rapist were never on her agenda. … Read More

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Scott Saul’s ‘Becoming Richard Pryor’ Has a Complicated Relationship With Bill Cosby

There’s an anecdote in Scot Saul’s new Becoming Richard Pyror, where the heretofore straightlaced comedian punctured the solemn, celebrity-fund-raiser mood of a Hollywood Bowl event for 10,000 people after Martin Luther King’s assassination with just a sentence. “All these people here are giving money,” Pryor said, “but if your son gets killed by a cop, money don’t mean shit.” … Read More

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10 Incredible, Underrated Film Performances From 2014

As the movie year is drawing to a close and every day begets more Top 10 lists and critics awards, it’s becoming easier and easier to take some fairly educated guesses as to how the Academy Award nominations are going to shake out. Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, Julianne Moore, and Felicity Jones (and maybe Marion Cotillard, hopefully?) will probably get Best Actress noms. Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, and Eddie Redmayne will probably get Best Actor. J.K. Simmons may as well pick up his Supporting Actor trophy now; ditto Patricia Arquette for Supporting Actress. And so on. It can all start to seem a little predetermined, with the feeling that we’re just gonna keep hearing these same names over and over for the next few months — and as if there’s nothing else worth discovering or celebrating, which is just plain bunk. So in the interest of year-end spotlighting, your film editor humbly submits a few more great performances that aren’t getting the love they deserve. … Read More

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Deadmau5, Krewella, and the Convenient Myth of a Post-Sexism Music Industry

On a day when the thesis that The World Is Fundamentally Terrible has been proven conclusively yet again, it feels more than a little silly to be writing about a man who wears a mouse head for a living. But at the same time, it also feels depressingly appropriate; in many ways, you can draw a line through many of the problems afflicting our society, from personal prejudices to ingrained societal ones and the awful ways in which they manifest. And as we’ve seen this year, the trivialities of our online existence can be all too revealing of deeper social problems. … Read More

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‘Mr. Turner’ Is the Best Biopic in Years

Mike Leigh’s masterful biopic of J.M.W. Turner, perhaps England’s finest painter, begins and ends with the sun. It opens carefully, with a light-drenched longueur of two Dutch women crossing a windmill against a stunning landscape. It ends, more or less, with the painter’s famous dying outburst: “The sun is God.” … Read More

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‘New Girl’ Season 4 Episode 11 Recap: “LAXmas”

New Girl is made for Christmas, always full of love, cheer, doe-eyes, and even some childlike wonder. The sitcom is biting at times but even then it retains its gooey sensibility by never forgetting what this series is really about: a group of romantically-challenged screw-ups who love each other fiercely, no matter what. They’re always going to go out of their way to encourage each other and while the episodes that focus on that might not be the funniest the series will ever put out, they’re still always great. … Read More

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Poppy Fields, North West’s Wardrobe, and Twin Baby Elephants: Links You Need to See

Even by the standards of a year that’s been singularly depressing, this has been a dismal day for news — between the horrors of the CIA torture report, the ongoing UVA/Rolling Stone debacle and the fact that New Found Glory are releasing a Christmas song, there’s been nothing but misery on the web. Today’s links aren’t all sweetness and light either, but at least there are baby elephants! … Read More

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VH1’s ‘Bye Felicia': Yet Another Terrible Makeover Show With a Racial Gimmick

First things first: Maybe you shouldn’t name your television show after a meme. “Bye Felicia” originated from an Ice Cube quote in the movie Friday and has since entered standard Internet parlance as a general term of dismissal. It’s confusing that VH1’s new reality show is named after this, not just because it’s a silly meme, but also because this series is supposedly about helping people, not dismissing them outright. Then again, maybe it is accidentally perfect for the series, because based on the pilot episode, Bye Felicia, which premieres tonight, should be dismissed quickly and entirely. … Read More

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The Conversation We Should Be Having About Mark Wahlberg’s Entitled Pardon Request

News broke this week that Mark Wahlberg — actor, producer, restauranteur, and the star of the upcoming Christmas Day release The Gambler — has applied to have his 1988 felony assault conviction in Massachusetts expunged from his record. The timing and the content of the news paints a grim portrait of celebrity entitlement in an age of protest and unrest. … Read More

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How the Death of Mid-Budget Cinema Left a Generation of Iconic Filmmakers MIA

Earlier this year, John Waters — whose last movie, A Dirty Shame, was released a full decade ago — finally got the offer he’d been waiting for all this time. According to his hitchhiking chronicle Carsick, his very first driver was “Harris,” “an art school type” with a sideline in weed dealing who called himself a fan. They talked for a bit about movies before Harris asked the (five) million-dollar question: “How come you aren’t making a movie?” … Read More

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