Twist Like a Dragon (feat. Joanne Lazzaro)

Grateful to have made the 1st cut for Grammy® 1st ballot! FYC in Arrangement A Cappella #FairyinaBubble feat #ArmandHutton mixed by Bill Hare and in Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals #TwistLikeaDragon feat #JoanneLazzaro.

By Diana Dilee Maher

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‘Get Out’ Wins Best Screenplay at Gotham Awards – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine

The Gotham Independent Film Awards, the Iowa caucus of Oscars season, kicked off on Monday night in downtown Manhattan. Jordan Peele picked up the first award of the night for his screenplay for “Get Out.”

“When I started to write this film I set out to make a movie that would be my favorite movie that I had never seen,” Peele said of the horror drama released by Universal Pictures. “I didn’t know it would actually ever get made.”

He added: “It’s so important that we support these voices from the outside, these perspective we haven’t seen, we haven’t heard. They will resonate. We need these stories.”

John Cameron Mitchell emceed the dinner at Cipriani Wall Street with a quasi-political monologue that tanked in the ballroom, met with almost no laughter or applause. “It’s a weird time,” said the director of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” “So we hashtag resist because we’re panicking and we want to do the right thing so hard.”

Al Gore, a career tribute winner and the producer of the documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” took a moment in his speech to give a shout out to “my Nashville peeps” Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. “‘Big Little Lies’ was awesome,” says the vice president, offering a ringing endorsement of the HBO mini-series. (“We are going to solve this crisis,” he said later about climate change.)

“Get Out” leads the nominations with four, while Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” has three along with Kogonada’s “Columbus.”

In addition to “Get Out,” films nominated for best feature are “Call Me By Your Name,” “I, Tonya,” “Good Time” and “The Florida Project.”

IFP’s 27th annual Gotham Awards will also present tributes to Nicole Kidman, Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Coppola, Jason Blum, cinematographer Ed Lachman, and Al Gore.

Watch the livestream on IFP’s Facebook page.


See the winners below:

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes (YouTube)

Best Screenplay
Get Out, Jordan Peele (Universal Pictures)

Best Feature
Call Me by Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Florida Project (A24)
Get Out (Universal Pictures)
Good Time (A24)
I, Tonya (NEON/30WEST)

Best Documentary
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (Zipporah Films)
Rat Film (MEMORY and Cinema Guild)
Strong Island (Netflix)
Whose Streets? (Magnolia Pictures)
The Work (The Orchard and First Look Media)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Maggie Betts for Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics)
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird (A24)
Kogonada for Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field)
Jordan Peele for Get Out (Universal Pictures)
Joshua Z Weinstein for Menashe (A24)

Best Actor*
Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project (A24)
James Franco in The Disaster Artist (A24)
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (Universal Pictures)
Robert Pattinson in Good Time (A24)
Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Netflix)
Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Actress*
Melanie Lynskey in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (Netflix)
Haley Lu Richardson in Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field)
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (NEON/30WEST)
Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (A24)
Lois Smith in Marjorie Prime (FilmRise)

Breakthrough Actor
Mary J. Blige in Mudbound (Netflix)
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics)
Harris Dickinson in Beach Rats (NEON)
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. in It Comes at Night (A24)
Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project (A24)

* The 2017 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating committee also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance to Mudbound, The award will go to actors Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks.

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
Atlanta (FX Networks)
Better Things (FX Networks)
Dear White People (Netflix)
Fleabag (Amazon)
Search Party (TBS)

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Should Fans Feel Guilty About Listening to XXXTentacion? (Opinion) – Variety

XXXTentacion was like hip hop’s Edgar Allen Poe. His emo rap oozed gravitas and foreboding, plumbing the darkest depths of his soul while documenting life and death, love and pain, violence and suicide.

His two studio albums, four mixtapes, and five EPs may be filed under hip hop, but lyrically – and occasionally musically – they have just as much in common with The Cure’s mope rock and Nirvana’s Sturm und Drang grunge. At times, his music even seems to have presaged the early denouement of XXXTentacion’s life.

The 20-year-old rapper and singer was shot to death while leaving a motorcycle shop in an apparent robbery in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on June 18. As the online eulogies roll out, there’ll be reassessment of his relatively paltry body of work and first impressions by those previously unfamiliar with it.

I fall into the latter camp, and the first thing that struck me about “?,”  XXXTentacion’s 2018 album, as I played it on repeat was its joylessness. This is the polar opposite of Drake’s party anthems for the masses. The 18 dirge-like, largely minor-key tracks, all but two of which clock in at under three minutes, paint a portrait of an artist as a young man who appears to have been prone to suicidal depression, wild mood swings, and extreme violence.

According to one ex-girlfriend, the latter side that XXXTentacion revealed on “?” may have been a painful case of art reflecting life. In October of 2016, prosecutors in Florida charged the rapper (real name: Jahseh Onfroy) with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering after the ex, whom he’d met online in May of 2016, accused him of abuse over a period of four months.

Despite the allegations, EMPIRE Distribution still put out XXXTentacion’s 2017 debut album, “17,” and its follow-up, “?,” which came out in March. It looked like the only repercussions of his alleged and actual misconduct (which also included several arrests as well as robbery and assorted assault charges) would be legal. Then last month, Spotify implemented a new “hate speech and hateful conduct policy” to catch up with the #MeToo times.

The streaming giant’s first move was to ban XXXTentacion’s music from its playlists, along with the songs of R. Kelly, who has been dogged by sexual-predator rumors for years and whose ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, tearfully accused him of domestic abuse during their 13-year marriage in a TV interview last week. Spotify reversed its decision on June 1, and both artists returned to its playlists.

Following XXXTentacion’s death, Spotify paid tribute – and according to some critics, cashed in – by promoting his music hard. Surely subscribers and non-subscribers streamed “?” in droves, looking for clues to the state of XXXTentacion’s psyche. The didn’t have to listen long for them to start pouring in.

Along with his anthems for depressed and potentially suicidal youth (“ALONE, PART 3,” “SAD!” and “before I close my eyes”), there are telling lyrics like “Pussy boy, don’t be talking shit/ Or you can meet this AK-47, it got kick back” (“Floor 555”) and “When I’m drunk I feel like fightin’, ayy/ She pop that pussy like Vicodin, yuh (ohmy ohmy)/ Beat up that pussy like a vikin’” (“going down!”). On his Twitter profile, his location is listed as “bad vibes forever,” while his one-line bio reads: “the wolf in sheeps [sic] skin.”

None of this proves that the allegations XXXTentacion’s ex made against him were true, but it makes me wonder if label execs cringed even a little as they listened to “?” for the first time. When a rapper faces such serious accusations and responds with an Instagram video in which he declares, “I’mma f— y’all little sisters in they throats, I swear to God. I swear to God, everybody that called me a domestic abuser, I’m finna domestically abuse y’all little sister pussy from the back,” it becomes harder to separate the inflammatory artist from the equally inflammatory art.

And what about the fans? Do they become complicit in abuse culture by sending an alleged abuser’s music up the charts?

It’s a tricky gray area. In the #MeToo age, the general trend has been to punish stars who say the wrong thing or are accused of abusive or predatory behavior. I understand the impulse for ABC to cancel “Roseanne” over its namesake Roseanne Barr’s racist tweets and for networks and movie studios to fire powerful men who are accused of sexual misconduct. The music industry, though, has been slower to punish stars like R. Kelly and Chris Brown, who has scored big hits and collaborated with a number of female artists, including his ex Rihanna, since he attacked her in 2009.

Should we the consumers pick up the slack? If we decide to, we may find our listening habits significantly altered. If we start banning all the male stars who are alleged to have hit women, that means no more James Brown, no more rap that samples James Brown, no more Temptations (whose member David Ruffin, like Brown, is said to have beaten Tammi Terrell while dating her), no more Bobby Brown, no more Guns N’ Roses or Mötley Crüe, and nothing Phil Spector ever blessed with his production magic. We’d have to drop tons of tunes and artists from our Spotify playlists, YouTube binges, and streaming sessions.

To be honest, I’m not sure I’m ready to go all the way there. I have no history with XXXTentacion’s music, and even his fans probably aren’t connected to him the way they’re linked to legends through nostalgia. It’s hard for me to listen to James Brown’s “The Payback,” R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix),” or “Proud Mary,” which was credited to both Tina Turner and her abusive then-husband Ike, without thinking of the men behind the hits, but it might be even harder not to listen to them at all.

It’s music that defined my formative years and my early adult years. Tuning out such vital parts of music history would be like losing a part of my own history.

Ultimately, the decision whether to go on listening or tune out completely is as personal as taste in music. But for those who choose to keep XXXTentacion in heavy rotation in the coming days, hopefully they won’t make him into something he was not.

If we’re going to let his music play, it should remind us that the late rising star was, in the end, not a martyr but a tortured, tormented, and troubled soul.

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Eminem and Skylar Grey Perform ‘Walk on Water,’ ‘Stan,’ ‘Love The Way You Lie’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ (Watch) – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine

Eminem was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 18 and he brought Skylar Grey along for a performance that started with his new single “Walk on Water” and evolved into renditions of “Stan” and “Love The Way You Lie,” as well.

In a white gown, Grey sat and sang at a piano just behind and off to the side of Em, who wore all black, including his trademark hoodie pulled up over a baseball cap. He shifted his weight side to side as he began the new song but his movements increased as the song went on.

Though “SNL’s” audio engineers had their fingers ready to mute certain choice words in the song, they did not bleep “retarded” out of the second verse (“Kids look to me as a god, this is retarded/If only they knew, it’s a facade and it’s exhaustive”).

When the beat picked up behind Grey’s third chorus, Em waved his right arm over his head and mouthed the words along with her. Picking up energy himself, he stepped out from behind the mic stand to move around the stage for the third verse, a particularly emotional one that includes a tribute to his late best friend and former D12 member Proof (nee DeShaun Holton): “But the only one who’s looking down on/me that matters now’s DeShaun/Am I lucky to be around this long?/Begs the question though/especially after the methadone/as yesterday fades and the Dresden home/is burnt to the ground, and all that’s left of my house is lawn./The crowds are gone/and it’s time to wash out the blond.”

After Em reminded the audience that he wrote “Stan” in the kicker of “Walk on Water,” Grey stepped out from behind the piano to sing the chorus of that 1999 hit. Performing only a portion of that almost seven minute track, they then shifted into part of “Love The Way You Lie,” off his 2010 “Recovery” album. (Rihanna, not Grey, is featured on the song on the album, though Grey co-wrote it.)

Em and Grey have collaborated on a number of songs through the years, including the “I Need A Doctor” 2011 single with Dr. Dre, “A–hole” from his 2013 “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” album, “Twisted” from Shady Records’ 15th anniversary celebratory disc “Shady XV,” and most recently, “Kill For You” off her 2016 “Natural Causes” album.

“Walk on Water,” Em’s first single from his upcoming “Revival” album, dropped Nov. 10 and moved into the No.1 position on iTunes hip-hop chart later that same day and into the top 10 in “songs in every category,” as well.

Watch the full performance below:

Saturday Night Live” airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

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Getting Enough Essential Fat? – Helping others with HeathTips and #Research #Videos

How much fat do we need in our diets? Is it possible to eat too little? Where can we get essential fatty acids on a plant-based diet? Is oil healthy? Dr. Steve Neabore has these answers and more in an interview on The Exam Room podcast! Listen to the full episode:

#Helping others with #HeathTips and #Research #Videos

‘Perfect Strangers’ Director Paolo Genovese Set for U.S. Debut – Variety

Italian director Paolo Genovese, whose concept movie “Perfect Strangers” involving smartphones and personal secrets is making a global splash, is set to make his English-language debut with “The First Day of My Life,” a New York-set suicide dramedy with echoes of Frank Capra’s classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Based on Genovese’s novel of the same title, which has become a bestseller in Italy, “The First Day of My Life” revolves around four characters on the brink of taking their lives who make a pact with a stranger with supernatural powers. The mystery man gives them a chance to travel forward in time to see for a week how their friends and relatives would react to their deaths and what the world would be like without them. On the last day of the week, the four potential suicides have the option of deciding whether whether to live or jump off the Manhattan Bridge.

The four characters are Emily, a former Olympic gymnast now in a wheelchair; Aretha, a police officer with a painful past; Napoleon, a successful New York stage personality; and Daniel, a child star in the American advertising world. 

“It’s almost like a survival manual,” said Genovese, speaking of his new project at the Filming Italy Sardinia Festival. “I needed to write something joyful – even though it’s about suicide – something that gives a sense to life. I think it’s something that people need.”

Genovese is now in advanced development on the project, which he plans to shoot in English with American actors. He recently spent two months in New York working on the screenplay and scouting locations. 

Talks are underway for Leone Film Group and Medusa, the director’s regular producers, to mount “The First Day of My Life” as an Italy/U.S. co-production with an as-yet-unspecified U.S. partner, Genovese said. It will be dubbed into Italian for the Italian market.

Though casting is still being decided, Genovese said he would like to draw “on the wonderful talent pool of American actors who appear in U.S. TV series even though they may not necessarily be known yet to Italian audiences.”

Perfect Strangers,” which revolves around a circle of friends who decide to bare their secrets at a dinner by exposing the contents of their smartphones for all to see, has been remade in several languages after grossing more than $16 million in 2016 at the Italian box office. A Spanish version directed by Alex de la Iglesia has earned almost $26 million at the local box office this year. A Mexican adaptation has just been announced, to be directed by Manolo Caro (“La Casa de las Flores”). Genovese said plans for an adaptation in the U.S., where the rights were sold to The Weinstein Company, are “on hold.”

The original Italian version of “Perfect Strangers” is performing well at the Chinese box office, where it opened at No. 5 in the fourth frame in May and has since pulled in more than $8.5 million, the best result for an Italian movie in China since Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso.”

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‘Jersey Shore’ Cast to Reunite for MTV Revival Series – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine

MTV is reviving reality-TV franchise “Jersey Shore.”

The Viacom-owned cable channel announced Monday that the series’ original cast members — including Deena Nicole Cortese, Paul “Pauly D” Delvecchio,” Jenni “JWOWW” Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino — will reunite for “Jersey Shore Family Vacation,” a new series set to premiere in 2018. The announcement came during the Monday-night premiere of new reality series “Floribama Shore,” which follows a format similar to the original.

The original “Jersey Shore” ran for six seasons on MTV from 2009 to 2012. Created by SallyAnn Salsano, the series followed the alcohol-fueled adventures of a group of friends sharing a New Jersey beach house. the series spawned spinoffs “Geordie Shore” in the U.K., “Gandia Shore” in Spain, “Warsaw Shore” in Poland, and “Acapulco Shore” in Mexico.

Salsano’s 495 Productions will produce the new series, with Salsano again serving as executive producer. Nina L. Diaz and Jackie French will exec produce for MTV.

Farley teased the announcement of the revival series earlier in the day on Monday, posting a photo of the original cast on Instagram with the caption, “MAJOR #JerseyShore news during the premiere of @FloribamaShore tonight at 10/9c on @MTV! Get ready! #MTVFloribamaShore.”

Watch a promo for the new series below:

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ABC Tops Monday With ‘Bachelorette,’ ‘Proposal’ Premiere – Variety

ABC won Monday night in the overnight ratings with the combination of “The Bachelorette” and the series premiere of “The Proposal.”

The Bachelorette” was steady with last week at 8 p.m., averaging a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million viewers. “The Proposal” followed at 10, opening to a 0.8 and 3.9 million viewers. “The Proposal” was ABC’s top summer debut in the time slot in three years, since the debut of “The Whispers.”

On NBC, ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls” (0.7, 3.2 million) was mostly steady. “American Ninja Warrior” (1.0, 4.2 million) was down from last week.

CBS aired repeats except for “Elementary” (0.6, 4.6 million), which was even.

On Fox, “So You Think You Can Dance” (0.8, 3.1 million) ticked up in the demo.

On The CW, the season finale of “Supergirl” (0.5, 1.8 million) was up in the demo. “Whose Line Is It Anyway” (0.3, 0.96 million) was even.

ABC was first for the night in both measures with a 1.2 and 5.1 million viewers. NBC was second in the demo with a 0.9 but third in viewers with 3.9 million. CBS and Fox tied for third in the demo with a 0.6 each. CBS was second in viewers with 4.3 million. Fox was fourth with 2.7 million. The CW averaged a 0.4 and 1.4 million viewers.

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California: Take Action to Bring Plant-Based Meals to Hospitals! – Helping others with HeathTips and #Research #Videos

Great news! The California Senate has UNANIMOUSLY passed a bill that would bring plant-based options to every hospital in California! The bill is now making its way through the California Assembly, and we need your help! California: Reach out to your representative and ask them to support SB 1138:

#Helping others with #HeathTips and #Research #Videos

Rai Fiction Looks to Conquer International Audiences – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine

Italy’s leading broadcaster Rai, which invests nearly 200 million euros in roughly 400 hours of content every year, is aiming to become a key player on the international drama scene.

The Frank Spotnitz and Nicholas Meyer-created “Medici: Masters of Florence,” whose second season stars Daniel Sharman as young Lorenzo, known as the Magnificent, in 15th century Florence, underscores Rai’s ambition to push the Italian drama industry beyond local borders.

“As a public broadcaster we think that being an important player at a national level is not enough, Rai has decided to play a fundamental role in the development of Italy’s audiovisual industry overseas,” said Eleonora Andreatta, the head of Rai Fiction, who is attending this week’s Content London conference.

Producing “Medici: Masters of Florence,” a show about Italian history, in English presented a risk because it could have alienated local audiences; but it turned to be a big ratings hit for Rai. The series also traveled in all major markets. Medici: Masters of Florence. The Magnificent” is being sold by Jan Mojto’s Beta Film.

“TV series can build the imaginary identity of our country even better than films, and bring it to an international dimension,” said the exec, adding that the 24 million euros series “Medici” was mainly produced by Lux Vide and lensed with an Italian crew across 30 locations in Italy between Tuscany, Lazio and Lombardy.

Besides “Medici,” Rai has a flurry of internationally-driven drama series in the pipeline, notably “L’amica Geniale” (“My Brilliant friend”) an Italian language series commissioned by HBO and Rai which is being directed by Saverio Costanzo and started shooting in October.

Based on the first of the four bestselling “Neapolitan Novels” by Elena Ferrante, “Brilliant Friend,” is being directed by Italian auteur Saverio Costanzo. The entire neighbourhood of Gianturco, where Ferrante’s novel is set, has been meticulously rebuilt for the series, which is being produced for HBO and Rai by Fremantle Italy.

Andreatta has called Ferrante’s work “one of the most powerful and universal stories of female friendship,” and underlined that Rai feels “very strongly” that it “belongs to the realm of what European public service television should be doing.”

Also on Rai’s slate: Giacomo Battiato’s “The Name of the Rose” with John Turturro and Rupert Everett which will start shooting in January at Cinecittà, where a library and an abbey are being built for the series.

The ambitious “Name of the Rose” skein marks the first TV adaptation of Eco’s groundbreaking historical murder mystery which in 1986 was made into a movie by Jean-Jacques Annaud after selling millions of copies.

This eight-episode English-language show with a reported Euros 23 million ($27 million) budget is being sold internationally by Germany’s Tele München Group

Rolling off the crime series “Suburra,” a Netflix original which Rai co-produced, the broadcaster is also co-producing Davide Marengo’s fantasy romance “Mermaids” and “The Hunter,” an organized crime series set in Sicily in the 1990’s. Both are Italian-language series set in Italy which have the potential to lure younger audiences and the international market thanks to their visual language, writing and acting, said Andreatta.

“Mermaids” is a contemporary show in that it addresses gender, diversity and feminism; while “The Hunter” tells a true story about a young and ambitious prosecutor who brought down more than 300 Mafiosi, according to Andreatta.

The daring “Mermaids,” in which four sirens surface in the port of contemporary Naples seeking a mythological male sea creature who has disappeared, debuted in October on Rai’s flagship Rai 1 channel where the show has been scoring solid double digit ratings in prime time. The show, which is Italy’s first fantasy skein, is being co-produced by Rai with Cross Productions and Germany’s Beta Film, which is selling internationally.

“The Hunter,” which is about Italy’s real Mafia wars of the 1990’s and the battle between Cosa Nostra and the Italian state, debuted on Rai 2 in October. This innovative mob show, in which crimes are reconstructed through the eyes of a Palermo prosecutor who thanks to brilliant hunches, spectacular raids and front-page arrests, manages to put hundreds of Mafiosi behind bars, has the same trio of companies co-producing as “Sirens” and is also being sold internationally by Beta.

The exec pointed out that the arrival of streaming services which deliver content for global audiences has pushed “Rai, like all other European public service broadcasters, to rethink its role and its identity — one that’s defined by Italian creativity, Italian culture, history and tradition.”

“Medici,” for instance, speaks about the Renaissance which Andreatta defines as the “DNA of the West, the social and cultural revolution that belongs to all of us, to Italian and the Western world.”

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