New this week: 'Not Okay,' 'Amber Brown' and 'Honor Society'
This week’s new entertainment releases include new music from Wiz Khalifa and Maggie Rogers, Neil Patrick Harris playing an unattached gay man in his 40s in New York City in Netflix’s “Uncoupled,” and modern influencer culture is skewered in the smart new Hulu satire “Not Okay.”.
'Hadestown' jumps ahead of pack to welcome Broadway patrons
“Hadestown,” the brooding musical about the underworld, has set its Broadway reopening date on Sept. 2, jumping ahead of such megahits as “Hamilton” and “Wicked” to position itself as the first show to welcome audiences on Broadway since the pandemic.
Twyla Tharp, nearing 80, isn't slowing down. Next question?
NEW YORK – The new PBS documentary on dancer-choreographer Twyla Tharp is called “Twyla Moves.” In retrospect, that sounds a bit weak. AdGiven all that, it would seem obvious that something like a global pandemic wouldn't force Tharp off course, or keep her on the sofa binge-watching Netflix. Tharp explains it simply: "Part of the adventure for me has always been a physical challenge." In one old clip, TV host Dick Cavett asks Tharp what she does to relax after a long period of work. Tharp didn’t want the film, directed by Steven Cantor and part of the American Masters series, to feel like a biography.
'First Cow' named 2020's best film by New York Film Critics
The New York Film Critics Circle on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, voted Kelly Reichardts Western fable First Cow the best film of 2020. (Allyson Riggs/A24 via AP)NEW YORK – The New York Film Critics Circle on Friday voted Kelly Reichardt's Western fable “First Cow” the best film of 2020, while also giving special honors to Spike Lee and the art-house distributor Kino Lorber for their roles in a movie year deeply marred by the pandemic. The film critics, assembling virtually, gave its top award to “First Cow,” a delicate tale of friendship and capitalism in mid-1800s Oregon Territory. The critics pointedly said the honor was for a service “designed to help support movie theaters, not destroy them.”The New York Film Critics Circle Awards are usually part of a wave of critics group honors that can occasionally influence awards season. Other NYFCC picks include: “Time” for best non-fiction film; “Bacurau” for best foreign language film; “The Forty-Year-Old Version” for best first film; “Wolfwalkers" for best animated film; and the five-film anthology “Small Axe” for best cinematography.
Pop Culture in (ugh) 2020, from the bizarre to the sublime
on Aug. 31, 2020, actor Chadwick Boseman in character as T'Challa in "Black Panther" and 10-year old twins Lenny, left, and Bobby Homes paying tribute to Boseman at their home in in Mesa, Ariz. on Aug. 31, 2020. (Takiyah Dupas, Marvel Studios, Annalie Homes via AP)And now, for our annual look at the year in pop culture…. Truth is, people turned to culture of all kinds in 2020 — highbrow and lowbrow — to satisfy varied and sometimes conflicting needs: Distraction, inspiration, consolation, escapism, hope. A Broadway star serenaded health workers from his apartment window, and ballet dancers performed “Swan Lake” from their bathtubs. The world mourns an actor of immense talent who, like many of his characters, radiated a regal sense of dignity.
'First Cow,' 'Nomadland' top AP's best films of 2020
This image released by Searchlight Pictures shows Frances McDormand in a scene from the film "Nomadland" by Chloe Zhao. Here are our picks for the best movies of 2020:JAKE COYLE1. “David Byrne’s American Utopia”: Spike Lee’s fiction films make more noise but he’s quietly one of the best documentary filmmakers we have. He may have made the best film of the year in his short film “New York, New York,” a tribute to an undefeatable pandemic-stricken city. It's also, with a glorious rendering of Harlem, one of the best New York movies in years.
'Jagged Little Pill' leads Tony Awards nominations with 15
This image released by Vivacity Media Group shows Elizabeth Stanley, left, and Celia Rose Gooding during a performance of "Jagged Little Pill." The musical leads the Tony Awards nominations with 15 nods in a pandemic-shortened season. The dozen nods make “Slave Play” the most nominated play in Tony history. The nominations were pulled from just 18 eligible plays and musicals, a fraction of the 34 shows the season before. The 2020 Tony Awards ceremony will be broadcast digitally and take place later this year, at a date still to be announced.
New this week: David Byrne, 'The Amazing Race' & Tommy Lee
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week. — Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns' “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America” was, unfortunately, always going to be of the moment. — Rocker Tommy Lee is in a collaborative state of mind on his new album, “Andro,” out Friday. Sundance Now’s true crime drama “Des” stars David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) as Dennis Nilsen, a serial killer who targeted young men, including the homeless. The three-part “Des,” debuting Thursday on the streaming service, was a recent U.K. TV hit and drew raves for Tennant’s performance.
Q&A: David Byrne on his festival hit 'American Utopia'
This image released by the Toronto Film Festival shows David Byrne in a scene from "David Byrne's American Utopia, a documentary of Byrnes concert musical, directed by Spike Lee. The film opened the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday, Sept. 10. (Toronto Film Festival via AP)NEW YORK – In a film festival season that’s been turned largely virtual, Spike Lee’s “American Utopia,” a documentary of David Byrne’s concert musical and the opening-night film of the Toronto International Film Festival, has nevertheless supplied the giddy rush of live performance in a packed house. “American Utopia” is full of plenty darker realities of American life, touching on police brutality (with her endorsement, he performs Janelle Monáe’s 2015 protest song “ Hell You Talmbout "), immigrant rights and the 2020 election. Byrne: The film is going to be in the New York Film Festival and at drive-in screenings.
Digital and drive-in, film festivals try to salvage a season
This year, three of the four major fall film festivals, including Venice, are going forward despite the pandemic. This year, three of the four major fall film festivals all but Telluride, which had to cancel are going forward despite the pandemic. For a season predicated on badge-wearing throngs and marquee movies, its meant rethinking what a film festival is. A situation like this forces you to assess what is fundamental, says Dennis Lim, director of programming for the New York Film Festival. Anyone in Canada will be able to buy tickets to TIFF screenings, and New York Film Festival films will be briefly available nationwide.
Toronto sets lineup, Regina King to debut Muhammad Ali film
This combination photo shows actor-director Werner Herzog, left, and actress-director Regina King. The Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday unveiled a lineup featuring the directorial debut of Regina King and the latest documentary from Herzog. Toronto, which is set to run Sept. 10-19, has plotted a largely virtual 45th edition due to the pandemic. In normal years, TIFF is the largest film festival in North America. Some of the films will play first at the much smaller Venice Film Festival the week prior in September.
Spike Lee doc of David Byrne's Broadway show to open TIFF
NEW YORK The 45th Toronto International Film Festival will be a much diminished event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it has an opening-night film. Spike Lee's filmed version of David Byrne's Broadway theatrical concert American Utopia will kick off the largely virtual fall festival. TIFF's Toronto headquarters currently remain closed. The former Talking Heads frontman's American Utopia played at New York's Hudson Theatre from October 2019 through February 2020. With David Brynes American Utopia, he brings Byrnes classic songs and joyous stagecraft to the screen just when we need it.