How Xavier Dolan’s ‘Mommy’ Uses Maudlin ’90s Music to Illuminate Male Adolescent Rage

[Note: There are some spoilers below. But also know that Mommy isn’t the kind of movie that can be “spoiled” with plot details.]

Xavier Dolan seems to love maudlin ’90s music; Heartbeats featured Sting’s “Every Breath You Take,” Laurence Anyways included Celine Dion’s “Pour que tu m’aimes encore” and Craig Armstrong’s “Let’s Go Out Tonight.” But the filmmaker, in interviews, has revealed himself to be entirely self-aware of his unbridled usage of equally unbridled tunes: “Music was the only voice of cinema for a very long time before we had sound; it’s organically linked to cinema itself. So I see no reason to restrain myself, thinking how much music to put in the film.” Yet his musical methodology — or lack thereof — never fully worked until now. None of Dolan’s previous films have relied on the rapture of ’90s sentimentalism more than, or as conceptually aptly as, his newest film, Mommy, which sees US release on January 23. … Read More

  • 0

Watch: Sting Clarifies Some things About His Tantric Sex Practices on ‘Inside the Actors Studio’

With the stage name Sting, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner was setting himself up for people to sexualize him — so,… Read More

  • 0

Watch Sting Sing “Stingtones,” Record Voicemail Parody of ‘Message in a Bottle’

Last night, in an effort to promote his very serious, very bleak Broadway play The Last Ship, Sting appeared on… Read More

  • 0

A Selection of Great Banned and Unreleased Music Documentaries

A trailer for a long-delayed documentary about M.I.A. leaked onto the Internet a few days back. The film seems to have run into similar problems with Interscope as M.I.A.’s album, Matangi — according to director Steven Loveridge’s Tumblr, he “[gets] an email every few weeks from Rocnation or Interscope saying it’s starting up again, then nothing.” This week he apparently lost patience and leaked an old trailer, then quit the project, suggesting this film will join the ranks of music documentaries that never officially saw the light of day. There are plenty more, some of which you can now watch on YouTube, and some that remain entirely chimera. Here are some of the most interesting. … Read More

  • 0

Intriguing Polaroid Mosaics of Celebrity Faces

When it comes to celebrity portraits, it’s hard to be original. But Italian photographer Maurizio Galimberti solves this conundrum with Celebrity Works, his collection of mosaic portraits made up of slightly tilted Polaroid photos lined up to show each subject from three different angles. The images seem to capture the celebrities deep in thought, sometimes leaning their head down or placing a hand on their chin. All portraits are arranged in the same order, but the collages are as different as the stars who populate them. Click through for a selection of photos from the series, which we discovered via Design Taxi, and visit Galimberti’s website to see more of his work. … Read More

  • 0

The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. You know that $4.05 billion that George Lucas made in his deal with Disney? Apparently he plans to donate “the majority of the proceeds” to his philanthropic endeavors. [via Collider]

2. Wes Anderson says that Grand Budapest Hotel “mostly takes place about 85 years ago… And it’s kind of European … a… Read More

  • 0

NexCyx Join Sting, Tom Jones, and Hugh Laurie in Cognac

This Spring, Hennessy held an international competition to offer one band the chance to travel to France and perform at the Cognac Blues Passions festival. After extensive judging and voting, the winners of the competition were NexCyx, a five-piece group from Barbados that mixes together hip-hop, pop, rock, and reggae with excellent results. (We’re especially fond of their party-starting track “On the Floor.”) Jetting off to Cognac last week, the band joined a bill that also included Tom Jones, Sting, Hugh Laurie, and other heavy hitters from the worlds of blues and roots music in its six-day lineup. Take a look at some of the highlights from the fest — which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year — in our exclusive photo gallery. … Read More

  • 0

Choose Your Favorite Act in ‘Chase The Music. Own The Stage.’

For nearly two decades, France’s Cognac Blues Passions festival has been celebrating all things blues and roots in the world of music. With its “Chase the Music. Own the Stage.” talent quest, Hennessy is taking part in the celebration as well, giving two international acts their chance to join the bill at this year’s fest, alongside Sting, the Cranberries, rising star Selah Sue, and a soon-to-be House-less Hugh Laurie. Following an initial round of submissions, the judges have narrowed this year’s hopefuls down to the top 10 finalists. Two of them will be heading to France from July 3-8 for the 19th annual Blues Passions event, and you can help them out now by voting and commenting on their entries. Click through for a few of our favorite contenders, then head to the Talent Quest page on Facebook to hear them all and get behind your personal pick. … Read More

  • 0

Watch a Damning Behind-the-Scenes Documentary About Disney

Disney’s forgettable 2000 film The Emperor’s New Groove came with a lot of baggage. Originally titled Kingdom of the Sun, inspired by The Prince and the Pauper, and directed by Roger Allers, it was completely overhauled midway through production. Allers quit, the script was rewritten, and Sting — who had already recorded several tracks tailored to the movie — was told that his songs had been cut. Meanwhile, Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler, had been following the production for a making-of feature that was intended to be a DVD extra. Styler documented the project’s devolution into chaos, portraying a pair of Disney executives as the main villains. Of course, Sweatbox, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, never saw release alongside The Emperor’s New Groove or otherwise, because Disney owns the rights to it. The full, 95-minute version has, however, appeared on YouTube and is bound to make fascinating viewing for those who are curious about how their Mickey Mouse sausage gets made. … Read More

  • 0