In his riveting new documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, director Alex Gibney (the prolific Oscar winner behind Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer) tells two stories: the thriller-like ascendency of the organization and the troubling questions it asks about government transparency, and the crumbling of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, which plays like something out of Greek tragedy — the transformation of an admirable idealist to a paranoid propagandist, injecting his own legal woes into the lofty aims of his organization, and conflating them. Gibney was unable to procure an interview with Assange; “Julian wanted money,” Gibney explains in the film, though Assange was willing to exchange his interview for information on the other people Gibney was talking to. The filmmaker refused, and We Steal Secrets has been under fire from Wikileaks supporters since it was unveiled at Sundance last January. I asked Gibney about that backlash, the importance of the story, and related troubling matters of transparency in the Obama administration. … Read More
Earlier this week, we told you about Xavier Macafee, the New Mexico man who was arrested on suspicion of burglary after allegedly breaking into Bryan Cranston’s car and stealing, among other things, the script to one of Breaking Bad’s final episodes. While we still don’t know if it was a coincidental act or the work of a brilliant BB superfan, this isn’t the first time a swiped script has created havoc in Hollywood. Here are ten tales of leaked screenplays, and what happened to the films… Read More
Last week Sundance announced its competition lineup and spotlight films, which was thrilling enough for cineastes, but now the fest has unveiled its full list of premieres. It’s a diverse and star-studded selection that delves into the world of Steve Jobs, Dave Grohl, Linda Lovelace, Wikileaks, and Richard Linklater to name a few. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dave Grohl will make their directorial debuts at Sundance with Don Jon’s Addiction — starring Scarlett Johansson and friends — and Sound City, respectively. Linklater wraps up his love story trilogy and follows Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight. We’ll find out if Amanda Seyfried can become porn legend Linda Lovelace, watch Park Chan-Wook‘s thriller Stoker, and see Ashton Kutcher transform into Steve Jobs. There’s a ton of great stuff waiting for your perusal after the break, which we first spotted at The Playlist. Let us know what you’re most anticipating. … Read More
Even before M.I.A. released her Vicki Leekx mixtape on New Year’s Eve 2010, she and Julian Assange seemed like kindred spirits — so it’s only natural they’re collaborating. Last week, we learned that she wrote the theme music for the house-arrested WikiLeaks activist’s new radio show, The World Tomorrow, which just aired its first episode on Russia Today. As Stereogum notes, the instrumental track isn’t particularly exciting: it’s really just M.I.A.’s somewhat spookier, more aggressive version of the 30-second psych-up music that precedes practically every other political talk show, and it’s overlaid with Assange’s self-aggrandizing intro. We’re more interested to hear that the singer, who WikiLeaks is calling “the Julian Assange of pop music,” will appear on a future episode of the show. Who wants to bet there won’t be a truffle fry within five miles of the taping? … Read More
You may not recognize Jimmy Wales by name alone, but you can be certain he has had an impact on your life. Five years ago, Wales was named as one of the world’s most influential people by Time magazine as the man behind Wikipedia — the online, crowdsourced encyclopedia that has become the default resource for curious fact and trivia seekers worldwide. Chronicling everything from Justin Bieber’s biography to the origin of nuclear physics, the site is a repository for unfathomable amounts of information — even if some of it isn’t always correct. As the digital age continues unfettered, we caught up with Wales on camera for a Flavorpill Interactive Interview, in which he shares his thoughts on Julian Assange, FourSquare, and the strangest things he’s seen on the site he brought to life. … Read More
1. Motown singer Teena Marie, the self-proclaimed “Ivory Queen of Soul” who was best known for her 1984 hit song “Lovergirl,” died on Sunday at the age of 54. [via Sound of the City]
2. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange signed a $1 million deal with Random House for his memoirs to help pay… Read More
Editor’s note: Each Friday, our internet-savvy friends over at BuzzFeed curate a post for us that’s filled with links to some of their favorite items on the web that week. Enjoy!
1. Leslie Nielsen died on Sunday at a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale where he was being treated for pneumonia; the Canadian-born actor was 84. Read his New York Times obit here.
2. Everything did not go as planned at last night’s opening preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.… Read More