Birthday

Pictures of Robert Smith Looking Happy

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The Cure’s Robert Smith has expressed his disdain for the “goth” label, but the black-clad singer has remained an icon of gloom despite his protests. “I’ve always spent more time with a smile on my face than not, but the thing is, I don’t write about it,” he once insisted. You’d never know it by listening to his music. The Cure’s catalogue has been dominated by wistful, lonely, somber themes since the band emerged in the early ’80s. The mopey singer’s manic, perky side has revealed itself occasionally, but Smith has often failed to hide his ever-present sarcasm behind his smile — even when it came to upbeat songs like “Let’s Go to Bed,” a calculated mockery of pop music.
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A Crash Course in Lon Chaney, “The Man of a Thousand Faces”

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Today would have been Lon Chaney’s 130th birthday (he died relatively young, of lung cancer, in 1930). Despite having been in approximately 160 silent films and earning a reputation as “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” a nickname that was memorialized as the title of a 1957 Chaney biopic, his groundbreaking work in character acting grows more obscure with each passing year.
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A Crash Course in the Early Films of David Cronenberg

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Today marks the 70th birthday of David Cronenberg, the Canadian filmmaker J. Hoberman once called “the most audacious and challenging narrative director in the English-speaking world.” While the 21st century has found him moving closer to the mainstream with such films as A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, he is better known to generations of cultish fans as a founding father of the “body horror” genre, exploring the fear people have of uncontrolled physical changes in their body and eventually expanding the idea to fit into his psychological thrillers and sexually charged dramas. Below, for those who remain unfamiliar with the first few decades of his work, we’ve put together a crash course in early Cronenberg.
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