Joaquin Phoenix Walks Out Of Interview When Asked About Graphic Violence In ‘Joker’

Joaquin Phoenix walked out of an interview when asked to respond to concerns about onscreen violence in his new film, “Joker,” which tells the origin story of the DC comic book villain. 

For an article published Friday, Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin sat down with the actor and asked whether he worries the new film “might perversely end up inspiring exactly the kind of people it’s about, with potentially tragic results.”

Phoenix balked at the question.

“Why? Why would you … ? No, no,” he stammered before abruptly getting up and leaving the room.

An hour later, after negotiating with a Warner Bros agent, Phoenix returned to finish the interview, explaining that he panicked because he hadn’t yet considered the question. Throughout the rest of the article, Phoenix does not provide an answer. 

In “Joker,” Phoenix plays Arthur Fleck, a loner with an unsuccessful comedy career who lives with his ailing mother, telling the backstory of the man who would one day become Batman’s arch nemesis. As Collin writes, “he could easily be the latest online message-board extremist to take his grievances murderously viral.”

According to a Hollywood Reporter review, two scenes are particularly hair-raising: one in which Fleck suddenly guns down a colleague point-blank, and another in which riots erupt among his supporters.

Collin’s question about the power of fictional violence to influence real-world crime is a matter that hit home for the Batman franchise with the 2012 release of “The Dark Knight Rises.” A dozen movie goers were killed and 70 were injured during a showing of the film in Aurora, Colorado, when a gunman with orange-dyed hair opened fire in the theater. According to police, he called himself “the Joker.” The shooter has since been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In a recent interview with SFX magazine, Phoenix acknowledged that while the violence in “Joker” is “a little more visceral and raw” than films such as the Avengers series, he “didn’t have any hesitation about it.”

“You always want it to feel real, and you want the little violence that we have to have an impact,” he said. “What happens in a lot of movies is that you get numb to it, you’re killing 40,000 people, you don’t feel it. While being a fictional story in a fictional world, you always want it to feel real. Everything that happens in this movie as far as violence goes, you feel it.”

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Cities across the world flash the Bat Signal on Batman Day

(CNN)Cities across the world on Saturday marked Batman Day by flashing the Bat Signal across buildings and into the night sky, a nod to the Caped Crusader on his 80th birthday.

Here’s what it looked like:

New York

    New York City is often called “Gotham,” after all. The signal was seen on the Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn.


    Batman Day celebrations began in Melbourne, where fans got to see the bat signal illuminating the skies at Fed Square.


    The Dark Knight’s famous logo was displayed at Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo.


    In South Africa, the image was projected across the side of Johannesburg’s new Leonardo Building, now the tallest building in Africa.


    The bat signal even flashed across the Senate House in London.


    The superhero’s distress signal also lit up Roma Termini in Rome.


      Germans also joined in the fun, displaying the iconic signal on Potzdamer Platz 11 in Berlin.
      DC Comics and CNN are both part of the WarnerMedia family.

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      Families of Aurora theater shooting victims ask movie studio to take action ahead of ‘Joker’ release

      (CNN)A group of people whose loved ones witnessed or were killed in 2012’s Aurora theater shooting are calling on Warner Bros. to help combat gun violence as the studio prepares to release its rated-R comic book film “Joker.”

      “Over the last several weeks, large American employers from Walmart to CVS have announced that they are going to lean into gun safety. We are calling on you to be a part of the growing chorus of corporate leaders who understand that they have a social responsibility to keep us all safe,” the letter states.
      Specifically, the letter calls on the studio to end political contributions to candidates who take money from the NRA and vote against gun reform, actively lobby for gun reform and make contributions to groups that support survivors and aim to reduce gun violence.
        In a statement, Warner Bros. studio acknowledged that gun violence is “a critical issue” and said the company “has a long history of donating to victims of violence, including Aurora, and in recent weeks, our parent company joined other business leaders to call on policymakers to enact bi-partisan legislation to address this epidemic.”
        “At the same time, Warner Bros. believes that one of the functions of storytelling is to provoke difficult conversations around complex issues,” the statement continued. “Make no mistake: neither the fictional character Joker, nor the film, is an endorsement of real-world violence of any kind. It is not the intention of the film, the filmmakers or the studio to hold this character up as a hero.”
        Igor Volsky, from gun control advocacy group Guns Down America, helped draft the letter on behalf of Sandy Phillips, Lonnie Phillips, Tiina Coon, Theresa Hoover and Heather Dearman.
        Sandy Phillips and Lonnie Phillips founded the organization Survivors Empowered after their daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was killed in 2012 when a gunman opened fire at the midnight showing of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”
        Shooter James Holmes is currently serving multiple life sentences for the shooting, which killed 12 and injured 70.
        “Warner Bros. — and artists in general — certainly have a right to make the kind of art they want to make, but the argument that we make is that with that right comes a great deal of responsibility,” Volsky, who has not seen the film, told CNN.
        He added: “It’s really based on this notion that at a period of time when the federal government is not representing its constituents on the gun issue, we have to organize powerful voices around the country to help us build safer communities with fewer guns.”
        Legislative efforts to address the country’s mass shootings by way of expanded background checks and firearm regulation continue to be stalled on Capitol Hill.
        Since its premiere on the film festival circuit, “Joker” has found itself on the defense against those who criticize its violent imagery and the movie’s potential to fuel violent behavior.
        In a recent interview with IGN, star Joaquin Phoenix admitted it was “uncomfortable” to think about, but, “I think we all are aware of these issues and we’re concerned, and I think that’s why we talk about it. I don’t think that we can be afraid to talk about it.” (Phoenix later walked out of another interview when confronted by a similar question, according to a journalist from the Telegraph.)
          Director Todd Phillips has also said that the film is, in his view, “about a lack of love, childhood trauma, lack of compassion in the world,” according to IGN.
          “Joker” will be released wide on October 4.

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          35 Times People Couldnt Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores (New Pics)

          We just love thrift shops here at Bored Panda. Since we discovered the awesome Facebook group ”Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared we have been sharing and sharing, and, as well as the new finds below, you can see previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Oh, and here too! Now that’s a lot of thrift store finds!

          So scroll down below to see yet more weird, wonderful and funny thrift store finds and let’s say it all together: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”


          Griswald Definitely Approves Of This Garage Sale Find

          We know that thrifting is great fun and can be really interesting too, but what are the wider benefits of shopping second hand? With thanks to Unwrinkling, let’s explore some more positive aspects of heading to your local thrift store!

          Environmental impact: Re-wearing clothes reduces waste and pollution. Every garment purchased second-hand means one less new one produced, which is important because regardless of material, the production of clothing is costly to the environment. Producing synthetic fibers like polyester requires lots of energy, as well as crude oil like petroleum; byproducts include toxic gases and chemicals. Sadly, pesticides used on most plants mean that even cotton and linen garments have a negative impact. Transportation-related pollution also decreases when clothing is re-used, as new clothes are much more likely to travel long distances before being sold than are their second-hand counterparts.


          For Years I Would Look At Craigslist Hoping Someone Would Post Some Of My Grandma’s Things

          Not sure how weird, but more like the universe righting a wrong. My grandmother inherited 2 beautiful bronze statues from her cousin(who was also one of my most favorite people in the world). I always loved the statues and would sit and stare at them as a child when I would go to my grandma’s house. As I got older, I only grew to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that went into making the statues even more. On one visit with my grandma she asked me if there was anything I wanted when she passed on. Not wanting to even think about her passing away, I was hesitant but she brought up the statues cause she knew how much I loved them. I agreed that yes I would love to have them. Through the years I became more distant from my family, except my grandmother. When my grandma died, my family made it very clear that my partner (and support system) was not welcome to come with me. Not wanting to make things uncomfortable, especially for myself, I decided not to go at all and held my own little ceremony for my grandma. Well, I asked about a will but was told there was not one, which I don’t believe and was told that one family sold off all of my grandma’s things to pay off his debts. So no one got anything, again, not sure that I believe all of that. But anyway, for years I would look at craigslist hoping someone would post some of my grandma’s things. Of course I wanted the statues but would have taken anything at that point. 5 years went by and I was giving up hope. I was laying in bed, it was around midnight, and I decided to look on facebook marketplace. I put the location to where she lived and typed in “Bronze statues” and there they were!!! My girls popped up at an antique store. I cried quietly and could hardly sleep. The next morning I got in touch with the store owner and well….Here they are. I sometimes still can’t believe they are in my home. I love them so much!!!!


          Stumbled Upon This Used Book Arch A Local Couple Kept In Their Barn Outside Pittsburgh A Few Months Ago And Begged My Boyfriend To Let Me Buy It For Our Wedding

          Social impact: Thrift stores make it easier to know where your money is going. To track the money you handed over for that brand-new Old Navy polo, you would need to trace the brand back to the corporation behind it, the assembly factories used by the corporation, their textile providers, and those textile providers’ raw materials suppliers—at a bare minimum.

          In evaluating all these steps (and the many others involved in the production chain), there are numerous considerations to keep in mind: Was your farmer using environmentally responsible methods? Was your seamstress of legal working age, paid a fair wage to work in a safe factory? Is the corporation behind it the kind you want to support, or one whose views you wouldn’t like to see perpetuated?

          In short, it can be a bit of a nightmare to track the impact of your seemingly trivial purchase. However, with most thrift stores, this burden is greatly reduced. For better or worse, the original purchaser’s money has already supported the whole chain of production that led to your second-hand Old Navy polo. Since most thrift stores in Europe, North America, and Australia rely heavily (if not exclusively) on donated clothing, this means you only have to question one link in the whole chain—the store right in front of you.

          Many thrift stores also directly support charity. It’s no coincidence that in the UK and Ireland, the term “thrift store” doesn’t even exist—they call them “charity shops” instead. In America, the best-known thrift stores are Goodwill and The Salvation Army, organizations which provide services to the unemployed, homeless, and disabled. In Europe, NGOs like Oxfam commonly use thrift stores to raise funds for humanitarian aid. By shopping at these kinds of establishments, your clothing purchase can go from supporting Third World child labor to supporting Third World children’s’ education.


          Found The Oddest But Most Perfect Leash/Lead For Our Little Dachshund Today In The Local Charity Shop


          This Sign

          Personal impact: Thrifted clothing offers more room for uniqueness. While it’s not the end of the world to see some other guy sporting the same sweater as you, most of us would choose to avoid such incidents, if possible. Since thrifted clothing infrequently comes in multiples, you’re much less likely to bump into someone wearing the exact same thing. In addition, there’s bound to be lots of clothes that were produced decades ago, or on the other side of the country, or in some other circumstance that makes them different than what the average shopper is buying off the sale rack at the mall.

          Thrift shopping allows for more creativity. Thrift stores are notorious for the wacky and bizarre items they often contain. (Remember Macklemore’s footed Batman jammies?) While these items can be downright eyesores, many just need a person with vision to re-interpret them in a contemporary way. For some, this may mean simply adding the right accessories; others may completely reconstruct their garment with shears and a trusty Singer. Either way, thrifting can allow one to do more than mindlessly mimic what one sees on the display-window mannequin, by providing more varied and interesting materials as inspiration.

          Sources: Unwrinkling, The Ecologist


          One Of My Favorite Finds! Found In An Antique Store In Florida. Unopened Bottle Of Poison. You Can’t Tell Here But The Pills Are All Coffin Shaped… The Store Had An Opened Bottle As Well


          Found This Gem And Couldn’t Believe My Eyes. Paid $10 For It, Thought It Was Just His Hammer Till I Saw Those Clasps


          Teeny Tiny Fully Functional Knife With Mother Of Pearl Handle

          I got this year’s ago at a garage sale and it lives on a shelf next to my bed. You know for protection against leprechauns, gnomes and fairies


          My 1960 Lee West Alpha Egg Chair Sitting In All Its Magnificent Glory In Our Home! It Has Speakers Inside That Still Work Perfectly And Came With Original Ottoman And Side Table!


          I Found Some Interesting Things At An Amazing Estate Sale Recently. This One Was The Best ! Only $5,000


          It’s A Murder Mystery Writers Desk Teapot I Found At Value Village For $10, And I Just Found The Kitchen Sink Teapot At Goodwill For $5 I Think 2 Makes It A Collection, Right?


          Found This Very Happy Piggy Today! I Couldn’t Resist, She Now Lives With Me


          I Found The Perfect Item To Celebrate My Divorce From The Husband From Hell In A Few Weeks. Smells Like A Good Night Sleep Knowing I’m Not Being Cheated On


          This Is The Tiniest Set Of Nesting Dolls I’ve Ever Seen. Brother And I Were Crying In Laughter As They Kept Getting Smaller And Smaller


          Yup- It’s Coming Home!


          My Friend Left Me This In My New Bathroom! 4.5 Stars!!


          This Came Home With Me. It’s Brilliant And Well Crafted


          Found This Guy On The Side Of The Road. The Elderly Man Getting Rid Of Him Told Me It’s Because His Wife Can’t Stand Looking At It Anymore And It’s Crack In It’s Back

          He was pretty upset over it and mentioned he had this guy for over 35+ years. Currently working on restoring him! Yesterday was dedicated to cleaning, gluing and filling. Today once the filler is done and it stops raining, I’ll be sanding and sealing. Thinking about gifting this guy back to the elderly man


          Meet “Bubo”! A 1960’s Am Radio From Japan. I Found Him Looking A Little Worse For The Wear And Tagged “As Is” At A Local Antique Mall In Cashmere, Washington


          Yeah, I’m Impulsive.. But.. I’ve Wanted One For Everrrr! And.. My Birthday Is Coming Up… And.. He Was Only $220! Their Loss


          Meet Marvin. He Is So Handsome


          Just Brought Home This Bad Boy From Goodwill. I Absolutely Cannot Wait To Use It At Work On Tuesday


          Went Through A Box I Inherited Of My Grandparents Knick-Knacks And Came Across This Beautiful Gem. Tiny Little Ceramic Kittys Drinking And Playing In Spilled Milk


          I Talked My Husband Into Helping Me Bring This Home From Work. He Totally Indulges My Whimsy

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          So This Is A Nifty Little Something I Got At A Thrift Store In South Carolina Several Years Ago For $4.25. It Is A Little Over 11 Inches Tall, Is Made Of Gold And Silver, And Weighs Approximately 1.25 Pounds


           When I found it, it was covered with what seemed like cigar smoke residue, and it looked like it was made of brass. It is called a “bridal cup” or in german, a “jugendfraubecher”. They are popularly used in japan england, and throughout europe and germany where they originated in 1450 a.d. in nuremberg.  

            The bride and groom can toast their marriage with it and drink from the same cup at the same time without spilling a drop as the legend of the original prescribes. The legend says that the cup was made by an illiterate gold and silversmith who had won the maiden Brunnehilde’s heart. Her father said he could only have her hand if he could make a cup that both of them could drink from at the same time without spilling a drop. The figurine’s skirt is a cup, and she holds a cup on a swivel over her head. The king was won over and his daughter married the commoner and they all lived happily ever after. 

             As it turns out, when I looked more closely at this piece, I realized it was not a production piece with industrial markings, but rather was a one of a kind hand-made piece using incredibly primitive methods. Turns out this piece may actually be the original nuremberg jugendfraubecher of 1450 a.d.  

             The German foreign ministry checked logs of lost and stolen artifacts from the war and we did not find an owner looking for it. Then they had two experts examine photos to see if it was possibly the original and a cultural treasure.  

             The experts agreed that there was no picture or detailed knowledge of the original to ever be sure, but that this one fit the description in every way except that it did not have pomegranates decorating it. Turns out the pomegranates run down both sides of it and they had examined picture from the front and back.  

             I will be taking it to nuremberg germany where I am confident the local chamber of commerce will assist with finding it’s proper place in culture. I am sure it is insanely valuable, but it is not something a person can really own. If it turns out to be a worthy example and possibly the original, it belongs in nuremberg Germany for the world to enjoy. Their local museum has a silver jugendfraubecher from around 1600 when they started to become popularized. 1600 is also when the rest of the industry developed the technology to reliably copy the original.

            This bridal cup was made by fusing curved plates with molten gold and silver, and then the excess was shaved away and polished. The thickness of the sides of the skirt cup varies a great deal, and it looks like parts of the engraving on some of the plates got too hot and softened during the assembly. Up close you can see the handwork and surface engraving around the silver inlays. The figurine in the middle was cast as a single piece and the face and hands of silver were fused onto it.  

            I suspect that the figurine is either gold, or was cast in silver and then hot dipped in gold. A scratch on the back does not show any silver, but perhaps gold dipping or some other crude plating method might have put it on thick.

             The latticework in the hands that holds the cup aloft are obviously solid cast gold, because you can see where somebody cut away some pieces, possibly desperate to raise money to flee germany before the war. I still have a gut feeling this piece left Germany in the 1930’s or early 1940’s.  

             The sides of the cup are a mystery too, because it would only make sense to use silver plates and fuse them with molten gold because gold has a lower melting point. After that the assembled cup could have been gilded or plated crudely. The thing is that the boundaries between the silver and gold parts on the outside of the cup look like they bleed into each other in places, and at others it looks like a sloppy gilding or plating around the silver accents. One fellow who examined it said he thinks the silver was laid into the accents of the curved plates when they were cast in gold, and then the maker cleaned up the worst areas that had bled into the gold by plating over them.  

             Ultimately the gold and silver content do not mean much because it is the crafting of the piece that is miraculous whether mostly silver or mostly gold. If it is from 1450 a.d., then I am told that the gold used is possibly king solomons gold brought back from the crusades. 

             If we can date it with metallurgy or some other technology, that would be our best likelihood of authenticating it as the likely original. It is entirely possible this is an amazing homage to the original from a more recent time, but was apparently never used as a fake, because we would have heard about that in the news of the day, and it would be an insane ammount of money to spend making it and no cashing in.

            As for an estimated value, it might just be an amazing old jugendfraubecher of unknown origin worth several to a hundred thousand bucks or so depending on the age and other factors. If it is found to be the likely original, then it has no price because it was never mine but to be a custodian. If it turns out to be something to sell, I am giving half to the thrift store where I got it, and the other half goes to my favorite charity. That is, after they have reimbursed me for the $4.25 I paid for it.

             At the very least I have been enjoying a great adventure in finding out what it is.


          This Speaks To Me


          Original Bob Ross Gold Pan. Paid $10 Because It Was Half Off

          Apparently he painted them when he was stationed in Alaska as a member of the air force. This was an awesome find because my husband was a crew chief in the air force 20 years and I am an artist so it’s a win win


          Wilhelmina Slater (Aka Willie) Loves Her Chair. I Think She Needs A Couch


          Maybe Not Weird, But Just Happened To Find This T-Shirt At A Local Thrift Store The Same Day I Was Canning Green Beans! And Only Paid .10 Cents!


          Fell In Love With This Cute Chair Today. Totally Nothing Weird About It. Until The First Layer Of Fabric Came Off


          I Finay Found Something To Share


          Seen Yesterday At Hartville Flea Market In Ohio. I Did Not Buy It, But Had A Good Laugh!



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          Director Joel Schumacher Says He’s Had Sex With Up To 20,000 Partners

          Director Joel Schumacher wasn’t just busy making movies. The man behind such films as “Batman Forever” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” told Vulture he’s had sex with up to 20,000 partners.

          The article’s author, Andrew Goldman, remarked that the figure ― which Schumacher eventually put between 10,000 and 20,000 ― is “really amazing.” To which Schumacher responded, “It’s not for a gay male, because it’s available.”

          “I’ve had sex with famous people, and I’ve had sex with married people, and they go to the grave,” he said in the interview, posted Wednesday. “I’ve never kissed and told about anybody who gives me the favor of sharing a bed with me.”

          Joel Schumacher

          “The Phantom of the Opera” filmmaker said when the AIDS epidemic broke out in the 1980s, he was surprised to test negative and took measures to protect himself. But there were risks.

          “I used condoms,” said Schumacher, who turned 80 on Thursday. “But condoms broke. And there was a lot of drug taking, a lot going on then. It was a way to deal with the loss, I think, of so many people I loved, or liked, or had affection for, or admired.”

          Schumacher’s claim puts him in the company of the late basketball star Wilt Chamberlain, who boasted in a 1991 memoir that he slept with 20,000 different women.

          Troubled former NBA star Lamar Odom recently said he had sex with 2,000 women ― but appeared to use the number as more of a cautionary tale to discuss his downward spiral of drug abuse and infidelity. 

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          Rutger Hauer Of ‘Blade Runner’ Dead At Age 75

          Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, perhaps best known for playing the replicant renegade leader in the sci-fi classic “Blade Runner” opposite Harrison Ford, has died in the Netherlands after an undisclosed illness. He was 75.

          Hauer died July 19. His family requested that the announcement not be made until after his services on Wednesday, his agent told outlets.

          Hauer will be remembered partially for roles in vampire works such as “Dracula 3D” (2012),  the 2004 TV miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” the original “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” movie (1992) and the HBO series “True Blood” (2013-14).

          He also had a turn as a corporate villain who knew Bruce Wayne’s father in “Batman Begins” (2005).

          But it was his part as the murderous Roy Batty in “Blade Runner” that proved most memorable. In a famous scene with Ford’s Rick Deckard in the 1982 sci-fi noir, Batty spoke of “tears in rain.” It was an improvised line that at the time irritated the film’s screenwriter, David Webb Peoples.

          Later, Peoples conceded to The Hollywood Reporter that it was a “beautiful contribution.”   

          Hauer starred on Dutch television in the 1960s and made his major American film debut as a terrorist opposite Sylvester Stallone in “Nighthawks.”

          Hauer, who also starred in the 1985 fantasy “Ladyhawke” and 1986′s “The Hitcher,” recently was a regular on the British comedy “Porters” (2017-19). IMDB listed an unfinished work: “A Christmas Carol” TV miniseries.

          Hauer left behind his wife, Ineke ten Cate; and a daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, from a previous marriage, Variety noted.

          Hollywood remembered the actor on social media.

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          ‘The Lighthouse’ Trailer Shines In A Dark Way With Robert Pattinson

          Before he plays Batman, Robert Pattinson goes batty in a gripping trailer for the award-winning Cannes Film Festival hit “The Lighthouse.” (See the video below.)

          The isolation and desperation of two 1890s lighthouse keepers (Pattinson and four-time Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe) on a remote islet oozes psychodrama in the preview, which dropped Tuesday.

          “How long have we been on this rock?” Dafoe’s Thomas says. “Five weeks? Two days?”

          When people start asking questions like that, the answer can never be a good one.

          “The Lighthouse” opens Oct. 18.

          Watch the trailer below.

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          The Orange Is the New Black Cast Changed TV as We Know It

          This week:

          • Saying goodbye to Orange Is the New Black
          • A good Taylor Swift song?!
          • About that Big Little Lies finale
          • Surely, this Ben Affleck news is an Onion report.
          • Jennifer Lopez is an immortal goddess.
          Orange Is the New Black Was So Great

          The final season of Orange Is the New Black is really good and more topical than ever. We will tell you more about that next week, as we are so restricted by Netflix in what we can say about the new season that theres honestly no point until then.

          (Listen, theres not much about my job to complain about. HOWEVER. The increasingly ridiculous practice of attaching riders describing spoilers that critics are forbidden from revealing has not only gotten out of handfor Stranger Things 3, we were not even allowed to say that Russians, introduced in the first scene, were the seasons villainsbut has also completely ruined the viewing experience for some of us. Surprise deaths and major plot points for Stranger Things 3, Veronica Mars, and OITNB are just a handful of what we learned in an email before even being allowed to press play on Episode 1.)

          But we can tell you about how this show has completely changed television. On an industry level, it is the series that arguably granted Netflix the prestige it has now. House of Cards had come before it, a drama that could have been on Showtime. But its OITNB that played with tone, structure, theme, pacing, morality, and inclusivity in ways that defined Netflix while shattering the television landscape as we knew it. And its on that latter point we want to focus.

          The acting on OITNB, most of it done by women in their first major television roles, has been the most impressive on TV during its seven-year run. Tour de forces by veterans like Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Taryn Manning, Laura Prepon, and, in Season Two, Lorraine Toussaint built the show a solid foundation. A mesmerizing, undersung turn by Taylor Schilling as one of TVs trickiest characters made it exciting. But the breakout turns by Uzo Aduba, Laverne Cox, Yael Stone, Selenis Levya, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Diane Guerrero, and so many more made watching the show a thrill.

          But its Danielle Brooks work as Taystee that I want to talk about. It might be my favorite performance of the last decade. A bubbly scene-stealer has become the shows most tragic figure, and through it all Brooks has remained towering. She has such a command not just of every frame, but of Taystees darkness as well, that its almost hard to breathe when shes on screen.

          Taystees appeal is her strength. Her relatability is her vulnerability. Her tragedy is her loss of hope. I cant believe she never got an Emmy nomination. But shes won the more prestigious award: MY HEART!

          Finally, a Good Taylor Swift Song

          I frankly dont have the energy anymore to keep up with whats going on with Taylor Swift, whether we like her or not, why we like her or not, or attempting to figure out who Scooter Braun is. I am, however, very concerned with whether or not she is giving us bops. Friends, she has not been. She has been giving us some garbage. Me! You Need to Calm Down. No! And rude!

          This week, Swift finally released a song off her upcoming Lover album that is legitimately good. (At least, I wont change the radio station immediately when it comes on.) The Archer is a soft, synth-heavy ballad that has Swift dialing back the brassy attention-seeking of her last two singles for something more introspective. I like it!

          Im getting Cyndi Lauper vibes and Donna Lewis vibes. Some pretty blatant Lana Del Rey and Carly Rae Jepsen appropriation, but Im not mad about it. The lyrics are simplistic and relatable, returning to the fairy tale motifs that earned her legions of young fans. She quotes the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme, bless.

          This is Taylor Swift, so its still petty AF, with the song boasting analogies in which she is both the hunter and the preymore meta commentary on her personality. But for a change of pace, it doesnt seem indulgent.

          Listen to it here.

          A Big Little Lies Finale Hangover

          Well, that was underwhelming. I mean, not the season as a whole. Remember those brighter days of Big Little LiesSeason Two, Episodes 1 through 3when we were going crazy over Meryls scream, Laura Dern screaming pussfuck! and Amabella having an anxiety attack over climate change?

          That gave way to utter narrative nonsense, total plot stasis, and the sad realization that our initial suspicionsmaybe there shouldnt have been a Season Twowere correct.

          Dont get me wrong, the show was still a blast to watch. Reese Witherspoons Madeline Martha MacKenzie is still iconic, even if they forgot to write her a plot this season. That courtroom scene between Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep featured badass acting, as far as the worlds most outlandish legal proceeding goes. But the way it ended, you were kind of just like, what was the point? Oh well. Im still going to use those GIFs forever.

          Cant Get Over This Affleck-Damon Nonsense

          So far, 2019 has taken a giant, steaming dog shit on our ability to feel joy and hope, so I try to keep this newsletter positive and enthusiasticyour very own pop-culture pooper scooper, so to speak. But nah, not with this.

          Projects coming from the Affleck brothers were both in the news this week, providing a brain aneurysm to polish off your rage stroke. First it was announced that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are reteaming to write a new screenplay. Great! We like Good Will Hunting. Nicole Holofcener is working on it with them. A dream! Shes a goddess among shitty men.

          The plot takes place in the 14th century, centering on two best friends, one of whom goes to war and learns that the other raped his wife. No one believes her. The court exonerates the rapist. The friend is angry. Im sorry… what?!

          Lets recap: When the #MeToo movement began, Damon sparked controversy for asinine comments urging for more attention to be paid to the men in Hollywood who arent sexual harassers and rapists, worrying that we were unfairly conflating all bad behavior. And Affleck? Video resurfaced of him groping actress Hilarie Burton.

          Should you have mistakenly thought that with these last few years of near-constant talk about gender disparity, safety, responsibility, and accountability in the wake of #MeToo, that everyone in Hollywood stopped sharing one hummingbird-sized brain, this should settle that for you. How is THIS the project these assclowns decide to embark on?

          As fathers of daughters, youd think theyd be concerned about YET ANOTHER project in which a womans rape is a plot device.

          But just in case you have a mouthful of coffee youre looking to spit out at your computer, heres a screenshot of a tweet describing Casey Afflecks (read about that guy here) next movie:

          J. Lo Just Turned 50

          And I recently purchased Rogaine.

          What to watch this week:

          Orange Is the New Black: It really sticks the landing.

          Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood: Honestly, just see it so that you dont have to listen to film bros tell you why you need to see it. Just looking out for you.

          Honeyland: Support independent film!

          What to skip this week:

          Pennyworth: Batmans butler, Alfred, is basically a young James Bond. Maybe that sounds interesting to you. It does not to me!

          Lights Out With David Spade: What 2019 definitely needed was a late-night show hosted by David Spade.

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