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History’s Wildest Literary Rumors

When French author Michel Houellebecq was promoting his 2010 novel The Map and the Territory, winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, and failed to show for several appearances, the media flew into a frenzy. Some even speculated that he was kidnapped. This rumor inspired Guillaume Nicloux’s The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, starring the writer as a version of himself. The film’s official US trailer debuted this week, reminding us of the many rumors that have plagued some of literature’s finest. Here are just a… Read More

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The Best and Worst of Last Night’s ‘SNL’ with Dakota Johnson

Now that we’ve all recovered from SNL’s awkward 40th anniversary celebrations, Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson guest hosts to welcome us back to Studio 8H. Johnson’s appearance doesn’t make things un-awkward, but she brings a subtle humor to the proceedings that will either win you over or lull you to sleep. See how Johnson fared during last night’s episode and determine if audiences can separate her from the role of Anastasia Steele, below. … Read More

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Television’s Most Realistic Mom-Child Relationships

There was something oddly comforting about watching Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson having an awkward mother-daughter spat with mom Melanie Griffith on the Oscars red carpet. When asked if Griffith had seen the film, in which Johnson plays an oft-nude virginal initiate into the world of BDSM, she said no and that she didn’t need to see it to know her daughter was a good actress. Cue a familiar eye roll and a few fed-up expletives from a bratty Johnson. … Read More

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Could Cancer Be Cured in Our Lifetime? VICE’s ‘Killing Cancer’ Offers an Optimistic Look Into the Future

For VICE‘s Shane Smith, the VICE Special Report: Killing Cancer, is personal. He’s watched his mother fight breast cancer and his stepmother die from cancer. Anyone whose life has been affected by cancer will understand where he’s coming from immediately — the way that the sword of Damocles descends at the first diagnosis, telling the patient just what will kill them in the future. … Read More

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The 50 Best Movies About Hollywood

While many movies set in Tinseltown feature similar tropes and concerns — the awe-struck wannabe, a ruthless deal gone wrong, and a wrong career move that turns deadly — no two movies about Hollywood are exactly alike. The diversity of subjects in these films speaks volumes of the variety of La La Land residents who make up the Hollywood experience. Whether it’s a modern-day Babylon or a dream factory, movies about Hollywood are striking both for their cynicism and star-struck naiveté. In time for the release of Maps to the Stars, director David Cronenberg and screenwriter Bruce Wagner’s long-gestating satire, here is Flavorwire’s list of the 50 best movies about… Read More

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10 Essential Animated Movies That Are Absolutely Not for Kids

This week, the Criterion Collection releases Watership Down, Martin Rosen’s 1978 adaptation of Richard Adams’ novel. It’s one of the few animated films in the collection to date, but don’t go gathering up the kids, movie nerds — from the moment little Fiver gets his apocalyptic vision, wherein “The field… the field… it’s covered with blood!,” it’s very clear that this is one cartoon that’s not for the kiddies. But it’s also a terrific movie, reminding us that too often, the seemingly malleable form of the animated feature film is consigned to family entertainment and left there. Here are a few notable… Read More

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New Web Series Reimagines Monica Lewinsky’s New York Years

After their affair almost took down the Clinton presidency, Bill Clinton stayed in the White House, seemingly invincible, while Monica Lewinsky slunk out of public view.

But not for long. At age 27, Lewinsky arrived in New York as one of the most infamous women in American history. It was the age of post-millennial excess, the New York City of Candace Bushnell and designer everything. Into this glamorous universe, Monica — no last name necessary — was ushered. She became an “It Girl,” but also an object of constant surveillance, and the subject of a memorable profile by Vanessa Grigoriadis in New York Magazine. … Read More

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50 Excellent Fabulist Books Everyone Should Read

Fabulism, it seems, is having a moment — although whether it’s truly a trend is up for debate. Some might say it’s been right there, purring along, all this time, while others might blink and wonder what you’re talking about. Such is always the case with magic. But whether you’re a newbie or an old hat, there are always new corners of the fantastic to discover. So, here you’ll find 50 excellent novels and short story collections by fabulists, fantasists, and fairy-tale-tellers, literary books that incorporate the irreal, the surreal, and the… Read More

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30 Photos of Marilyn Monroe Not Giving a Damn

Happy birthday, Marilyn Monroe. The iconic sex symbol would have been 88 years old today. In the years since Monroe’s death in 1962, candid photos of the blonde bombshell have surfaced that reveal a different side to the glamorous starlet who seemed to adore the cameras. Tousled, intimate portraits of Marilyn without her familiar sheen of lipstick, deeply engrossed in books and allowing us a glimmer of her everyday life suggested the actress was much more than her “dumb blonde” persona. Marilyn was doing the no makeup selfie before Gwyneth. She showed a passion for good food and felt comfortable in her own body (most of the time) before Hollywood’s current everywoman Jennifer Lawrence made a show of it. The actress craved respect, but she was unafraid to be playful and goofy. And sometimes she just didn’t give a damn. We have the photo evidence to prove it. … Read More

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The 50 Most Heart-Wrenching Movies of All Time

It’s fall, and there’s something in my eye. Or it’s allergy season. Or I’m newly sensitive to hyper-emotional filmmaking. Or maybe it isn’t just me; every year, when prestige movie season begins, we find ourselves sniffling and dabbing through moving, heartstring-tugging pictures, though this year seems to already have a surplus of big-time weepies. In the spirit of those pictures, here’s a rundown of the 50 most cry-worthy flicks in movie history — not just the saddest, mind you, but those most likely to move us to tears, be it through tragedy, triumph, or the sheer goodness of their… Read More

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