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Albert Einstein, Comedy Icon? 9 Examples of How Film and TV Depict His Lighter Side

1 hour ago

The legacy of Albert Einstein cannot be overstated — even when we take the scientist’s accomplishments for granted, he’s one of our planet’s most famous pop culture figures, recognizable across generations. The way he’s been depicted on screen has ranged from well-researched takes on the man’s life, such as Nat Geo Channel’s new anthology series “Genius,” premiering today, to, shall we say, somewhat more out-there fare.

Read More: ‘Genius’: Albert Einstein Undergoes a Heated Interrogation in Exclusive Sneak Peek — Watch

Below are some of the most notable examples we found featuring the great scientist depicted in a less-than-serious state. What’s interesting about looking at all of these examples together is how on the one hand, Einstein as an icon has been utilized for the sake of comedy for decades now. But when film or TV choose to engage with the reality of the man himself, »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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How ‘Planet Earth II’ and Other Nature Docs Manipulate Footage to Mess With Our Emotions — Watch

1 hour ago

Does Bambi live or die?

That’s the question that nature documentary producers hope viewers want to know when watching an epic chase scene between predator and prey. That’s according to narrator Simon Cadre for DSLRguide, who revealed in a short video titled “How Nature Documentaries Are Fake” how these nature doc filmmakers use editing trickery to make viewers care about the subjects on shows like “Planet Earth II.”

The first is the use of sound effects, specifically foley to recreate sound, since most nature filmmaking can’t use the audio from the field. The actual audio would either be too loud from a helicopter or other ambient noise, and besides the subjects are often further away than mics can pick up.

Read More: ‘Planet Earth II’ Producers Reveal 6 Sneaky Ways They Filmed Their Animal Stars

The use of a dramatic score is also essential to making viewers feel »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Game of Thrones’ Deleted Scenes Reveal Tywin Lannister Fishing In a Rare Moment of Relaxation — Watch

2 hours ago

Everyone knows HBO’s “Game of Thrones” likes to pack a lot of plot into a little season. In fact, there are so many storylines in the hit show that some feel underdeveloped while others seem to drag on forever. But that is inevitable when creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have to truncate each roughly 700-page book by George R. R. Martin into one season.

Read More: ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Photos: Get You Someone Who Looks at You the Way Tormund Looks at Brienne of Tarth

The show films a lot more footage than it can use, as evidenced by the many deleted scenes in the special features section of the DVD sets. Thanks to a new compilation from YouTube channel WhatCulture, you can experience the best deleted scenes without having to invest in the DVDs. The video is narrated by a cheeky brit who contextualizes his favorite »


- Jude Dry

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Shonda Rhimes Secrets: The ‘Scandal’ Producer On How Not To Get Fired From a Writers’ Room

2 hours ago

For an aspiring TV scribe, landing the first writing gig is a feat. Holding on to that job is a triumph.

Shonda Rhimes has some advice for novice writers on how not to get fired: Make some noise around the table, so that you have an immediate impact in the room. The secret seems obvious, but Rhimes told IndieWire that it’s surprising how many newbies clam up and immediately limit their careers.

“I think everybody feels like their goal in their job is to sit quietly in the corner and watch things happen,” Rhimes said. “And that is the most deadly mistake you can make. That is exactly how you get fired. The most silent person in the writers room is usually the first fired person in the writers room. Because people start to either think that the person is stupid or creepy or honestly doesn’t have anything to say. »


- Michael Schneider

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‘Bates Motel’ Finale Review: A Tragic Couple Gets Their Due in a Bloody, Beautiful Series Ender

15 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for the “Bates Motel” series finale: Season 5, Episode 10, “The Cord.”]

A cold dose of reality didn’t sit well with Norman, so “Bates Motel” gave him the fantasy instead. Looking back on Season 5, it’s clear now that Norman (Freddie Highmore) was being forced to choose between the two all along: A world without Norma (Vera Farmiga), his mother, was not one he could continue living in without a major lifestyle change. He had to accept she was dead or be allowed to indulge his delusion that she was still alive.

When push came to shove — or, to be more accurate, knife came to gun — Norman chose the delusion. After suffering a beating at the hands of Alex Romero (Nestor Carbonell), Norman turned the tables on his captor and killed him with a heavy stone to the head. He passed out next to the barely covered corpse of his mother, and dreamt of when they first took over the Bates Motel. »


- Ben Travers

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‘Better Call Saul’ Review: The Details Matter Most in A Tale of Two Schemes

15 hours ago

Last Week’S Review: Jimmy Is, Once Again, ‘A Little Bit Crooked’

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “Better Call Saul” Season 3, Episode 3, “Sunk Costs.”]

Case Summary

While technically last week gave us our first glimpse of Gus Fring, here we really see the man in action in his first one-on-one scene with Mike. It’s just one scene, early in the episode, but the menace Giancarlo Esposito can bring to one relatively subdued encounter remains a thing of wonder. Not that Mike is any less scary. Consider the calm but firm way he makes it clear to Gus that he is not done with the Salamancas, and his methodical actions over the course of the episode that lead directly to Salamanca henchmen getting arrested at the border.

Meanwhile, the consequences for Jimmy’s outrage get unveiled in stark detail: Chuck is pressing charges, in a deliberate attempt to get Jimmy disbarred — which will very likely happen if Jimmy ends up with a felony on his record. »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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WGA Members Approve Strike Authorization, as Contract Negotiations Resume Tuesday

18 hours ago

Hollywood has moved one step closer to a potential writers strike. WGA members voted overwhelmingly to approve strike authorization, with 96% voting yes. About 68% of WGA members voted over the weekend.

The vote gives the WGA’s negotiating committee the authorization to call a strike as soon as May 2; the guild’s current Minimum Basic Agreement with the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers expires at midnight on May 1.

Read More: Will Writers Strike Again? Here’s What’s At Stake As WGA Negotiations Loom

Around 6,310 ballots were cast this weekend. The 96% vote in favor of “yes” was higher than the 90% (out of 5,507 ballots) who voted for  authorization in 2007 (the last time the WGA went on strike).

Negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP were put on hold as WGA members voted on strike authorization. Now, the two sides are set to meet up on Tuesday at the AMPTP’s Sherman »


- Michael Schneider

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‘Blood Drive’ Trailer Revs Up for Gory Grindhouse Good Times — Watch

20 hours ago

Syfy is embracing its grisly side with the new series “Blood Drive,” an homage to grindhouse movies.

The show revolves around a cross-country death race that involves sex, violence and cars that run on blood. “In the distant future of 1999, a global shortage has ravaged civilization. Instead of going green, we went red,” announces the helpful voiceover guy in the trailer below.

Read More: Syfy to Adapt Classic Sci-Fi Novel ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’ as a TV Series

During the race, our good-looking heroes, played by Alan Ritchson and Chrstina Ochoa, will encounter all manner of over-the-top characters including monsters, cannibals, nymphomaniacs and Amazons (where are we now?).

Check out the official description and the bloody trailer below:

Get uncomfortable…! In the tradition of classic grindhouse movies, “Blood Drive” is a new series soaked in high-octane chaos and just barely approved for television. After Los Angeles’ last good cop »


- Hanh Nguyen

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Why Fox Reviving ‘The X-Files’ Has Us Concerned — Very Good Television Podcast

21 hours ago

Even before Fox officially announced the latest return of one-time flagship series “The X-Files,” we were wondering how Season 11 might be different from the season that came before: How many episodes? How many would be written and directed by Chris Carter? How many new writers would come on board?

Read More: Chris Carter on That ‘X-Files’ Season 10 Cliffhanger, and What Comes Next

We now know that the next season will consist of 10 episodes, and that production theoretically begins this summer for the 2017-2018 season. But beyond that, there are still plenty of mysteries left unsolved — especially given that showrunner Chris Carter has a questionable track record with the series when he takes a more hands-on approach creatively (after all, he was the one behind the ending of last season).

While it was hinted last year that Carter was pushing for more seasons, this news is a game changer in how »


- Maya Reddy

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Maria Bamford’s ’Old Baby’ Trailer Takes On Every Room Imaginable in New Comedy Special

21 hours ago

While we’re all still waiting for another season of “Lady Dynamite,” take heart. Maria Bamford will be returning to Netflix much earlier than that.

The comedian will bring her comic stylings to the streaming service in May with the stand-up comedy special “Old Baby.” As with her 2012 “The Special Special Special,” in which she performed in unconventional stand-up venues, “Old Baby” will once again place Bamford in quirky settings to see what that brings to her set.

Read More: Netflix Renews ‘Lady Dynamite,’ ‘Real Rob,’ ‘Chelsea’ for Season 2

This time around, her set will be performed in venues that start out incredibly intimate — such as talking to herself in the mirror or to friends on a park bench — to increasingly larger and more public, such as a bowling alley or theater.

Bamford altering with her environment isn’t anything new. She played with dream sequences and the reality of »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Bloodline’ Recap Video: Relive Every Essential Moment of the First 2 Seasons

24 April 2017 10:28 AM, PDT

The Rayburns have been very, very busy.

On Netflix’s family drama “Bloodline,” the Rayburn family may have seemed like the most upstanding, hard-working family in the Florida Keys community, but one dark secret has laid waste to their interpersonal interactions in a way that had far-reaching consequences.

Read More: ‘Bloodline’ Season 3 Trailer: Kyle Chandler Comes Home as Netflix Sets an Early Release Date for Final Season — Watch

When the series first started, patriarch Robert (Sam Shepard) and matriarch Sally (Sissy Spacek) are celebrating the 45th anniversary of their seaside hotel, The Rayburn Hotel. All of their kids are gathered for the occasion: detective John (Kyle Chandler), marina owner Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz) and attorney Meg (Linda Cardellini). Unbeknownst to the family, they’ll be joined by one more Rayburn: the eldest son Danny (Ben Mendelsohn), the black sheep of the family.

As the show unfolded, each of the Rayburns »


- Hanh Nguyen

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Michael Mann to Adapt ‘Black Hawk Down’ Author’s ‘Hue 1968’ as a Miniseries

24 April 2017 9:45 AM, PDT

Prepare for a Manniseries. Deadline reports that Michael Mann and Michael De Luca have purchased the rights to Mark Bowden’s forthcoming “Hue 1968: The Turning Point in the American War in Vietnam,” which they intend to adapt as an eight-to-10-hour miniseries.

Read More: Hugh Jackman and Noomi Rapace to Star in Michael Mann’s Ferrari Biopic

Mann has called “Hue 1968” “a masterpiece of intensely dramatic non-fiction” whose achievement “is in making ‘them’ into us.” Bowden is also the author of “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War,” whose 2001 film adaptation was directed by Ridley Scott.

“We are them. There are no background people; people abstracted into statistics, body counts,” said Mann. “There is the sense that everybody is somebody, as each is in the reality of his or her own life. The brilliance of Bowden’s narrative, the achievement of interviewing hundreds of people on all »


- Michael Nordine

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‘Last Week Tonight’: John Oliver Takes Aim at Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in Brutal New Segment — Watch

24 April 2017 7:32 AM, PDT

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver has a message for the subset of Americans who continue to hold out hope that Donald Trump’s administration is somehow being positively influenced by the work and interests of his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner: Uh, maybe don’t.

On last night’s episode of the HBO political chat show, Oliver dedicated his long-form deep-dive segment to exploring Ivanka and Jared’s credentials — beyond just the obvious nepotism — as a way to examine the true possibilities of their positions in the White House. In short, it’s not exactly heartening.

Read More: ‘Last Week Tonight’: John Oliver Visits a Very French Bistro to Explain Terrifying Elections — Watch

From Ivanka’s strange double-talk when it comes to her ability to influence her father (basically, she says she does it all the time, but will never tell the world exactly how or why, »


- Kate Erbland

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‘Feud: Bette And Joan’: Ryan Murphy Reveals Why Hiring Women to Write and Direct Mattered So Much

23 April 2017 8:30 PM, PDT

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “Feud” Episode 8, “You Mean All This Time We Could Have Been Friends?”]

Ryan Murphy knows what you thought “Feud: Bette and Joan” was going to be. And he believes that the show worked because, ultimately, it wasn’t.

“I think people were maybe thinking it was gonna be just a campy, bitchy exploration of these two women,” he told IndieWire from the set of “Versace: American Crime Story,” which has just begun filming. “But I was never interested in that. I was really interested in the sadness and the regret and the pain and also the reward, and just to show how hard they worked. Not only at their careers but on their facades.”

Read More: ‘Feud: Bette and Joan’: Alison Wright On How Her Fictional Character May Fare Better Than Real Women in Film

Facades make up a major part of the FX drama, which chronicled the long-time rivalry between Bette Davis (played by Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Veep’ Review: A Big List of the Ways Women in Politics Get F***ed, and Not in a Good Way

23 April 2017 8:00 PM, PDT

Immediate Reaction:

Oh, Amy. After warning Selina against Andrew’s toxic charms, Buddy Calhoun’s campaign manager and girlfriend became the “Lobotomy Barbie” she cautioned her old boss about, standing by her man as he apologized for making an ass of himself — and a joke of their sex life in the process. Both women got screwed by their chosen men, and not in a way they enjoy.

But the fuck-over-y (ovary?) didn’t end there. Selina was spurned by her fellow ex-presidents (all male) at the opening of President Hughes’ library. She, in turn, dismissed the idea of a female architect, telling Gary, “We’re not redoing a kitchen here,” while Marjorie and Catherine lamented the fact they need a man to have a baby. And of course, Selina ended up getting doubly boned by Andrew, first upon learning of his betrayal and then by the woman he cheated with, »


- Ben Travers

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‘Silicon Valley’: Thomas Middleditch Breaks Down Richard’s Big Gamble in the Season 4 Premiere

23 April 2017 7:30 PM, PDT

[Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for the “Silicon Valley” Season 4 premiere, Episode 1, “Success Failure.”]

Silicon Valley” saw big changes in its first episode of Season 4. What started with the Pied Piper team plotting to oust Richard as CEO ended with the tech genius (played by Thomas Middleditch) stepping down voluntarily in order to pursue his true passion: a new internet.

Given how long it took for the team to find a useful application for Richard’s original algorithm — first discovered in the Season 1 premiere — one has to wonder: Is Richard self-sabotaging?

“Oh, yeah. He totally is,” Middleditch said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “[In Season 3] Jack Barker was going to make Richard Chief Technical Officer. And if Richard knew what was good for him, he would’ve done that.”

Read More: Zach Woods Compares His ‘Silicon Valley’ Character to a ‘New England Mom,’ and Here’s Why That’s Hysterically Tragic

Middleditch, who earned an Emmy nomination in 2016 for his portrayal of the Pied Piper founder, »


- Ben Travers

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‘The Leftovers’: How The Producers Enlisted a ‘Perfect Stranger’ For Season 3’s Most Important Scene

23 April 2017 7:00 PM, PDT

[Editor’s note: This piece contains spoilers for “The Leftovers” Season 3, Episode 2, “Don’t Be Ridiculous.”]

Mark Linn-Baker started watching “The Leftovers” because he was in it — though he didn’t know why.

Before the first season of the HBO drama began airing, the veteran actor got a call from his agents informing him that the show wanted to use clips from “Perfect Strangers,” the classic 1980s sitcom he starred in from 1986-1993. However, they didn’t provide any context.

“So that first season, I was watching, because I was curious what this show was,” Linn-Baker told IndieWire via phone. And his attention was definitely rewarded by the supernatural drama, which wonders what would happen to the world if two percent of the population just suddenly vanished.

“It was a fascinating show,” Linn-Baker said. “Extremely well-produced, extremely upsetting — in a good way! Very engaging, and extremely imaginative.”

One of the first season’s most imaginative conceits: That the entire cast of “Perfect Strangers” was included in the Great Departure. »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘The Leftovers’ Review: Episode 2 Redefines the Series as Carrie Coon Delivers an Astounding Solo Show — And Takes Control

23 April 2017 7:00 PM, PDT

[Editor’s note: The following review contains spoilers for the “The Leftovers” Season 3, Episode 2, “Don’t Be Ridiculous.”]

Immediate Reaction:

Another episode of “The Leftovers,” another mind-blowing last-second twist. After an episode spent entirely with Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), we took a trip to the Outback in the final minutes and watched a police officer named Kevin get drugged, tied up, and drowned by a group of women on horseback who are somehow connected to Kevin Sr. (Scott Glenn).

Now, it appears as clear as anything in “The Leftovers” can be that this was a case of mistaken identity: The women, led by the tremendously talented Lindsay Duncan, thought Australian Kevin was American Kevin (Justin Theroux). They believed he would rise from the dead, as Kevin has, but why they wanted him to briefly die and how they found out about him in the first place remain mysteries. Does Kevin Sr. know them? Did he have a copy of Matt’s book? Is this even the present day, »


- Ben Travers

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18 articles



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