Russell Brand

The Best and Worst Documentaries of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

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Falling as close as it does on the calendar to Sundance and SXSW, the Tribeca Film Festival — which ended yesterday — doesn’t always get the first picks and highest-profile of narrative movies. But for years now, those who attend and cover the fest have watched it quietly become one of the best showcases around for documentary film, and this year’s 14th annual installment was no exception. Your film editor took in 21 of the nonfiction entries, and there’s barely a dud in the bunch; here’s a brief overview of what to keep an eye out for.
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On Activism and Cynicism: An Hour Waiting for Russell Brand in Zuccotti Park

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I walked down to Zuccotti Park yesterday afternoon. I haven’t been there since Occupy Wall Street was forcibly removed from the park in November 2011. And, look, I’ll admit it — I never went to the park during Occupy, either. Like many people, I suspect, I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with activism — or, perhaps more accurately, with activists. Insofar as Occupy had defined goals (and one of the smartest and most interesting things about the movement was its inclusivity), I supported them — anyone who reads Flavorwire regularly will be unsurprised to know that we often lean left of center. But when it comes to direct action or marches or such things, I have always had a problem, and that problem has a name: drum circles.
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Let’s Stop Pretending Russell Brand Is Either a Savior or a Fool

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Reading over the debate about Russell Brand’s political philosophy in the last couple of weeks has been entertaining, if also frustrating. It’s a paradigmatic exercise in why celebrity and politics don’t mix all that well, because primarily the debate has been framed thusly: is Russell Brand good, or bad? At least in the past, most have said bad, because they associate Russell Brand with sex jokes and Katy Perry. And that, my friends, is a boring discussion, and the wrong one to be having.
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Flavorwire Exclusive: Courtney Love on Her Upcoming Memoir, Russell Brand’s MSNBC Takedown, and Amanda Bynes

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Courtney Love: she’s back. Well, she’s never really been away, not from the news, anyway — but this month sees her touring for the first time in ages, and she’s also got an album due out at some point this year, along with a book and some sort of mysterious TV gig about which she’s been keeping mum thus far. In conversation, Love is pretty much as you’d expect — clearly very intelligent, very voluble, and entirely unpredictable, given to going off on lengthy tangents that rarely have a great deal to do with the question that’s been asked but are generally highly entertaining. Case in point: I called to ask about her new solo album and upcoming tour. We ended up talking about her upcoming memoir, how she got Russell Brand started in America, and what to do about Amanda Bynes. So it goes.
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