Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sexual Tension: Marlene Dietrich's indifference, Shailene Woodley (Theo James, Miles Teller)

“Marlene,” C.W. Gortner’s new novel, takes us through the first half of “The Aloof One’s” life, up to the end of World War II. Young Maria Magdalene Dietrich trains as a classical violinist only to lose interest when a teacher advises that she might do all right in an orchestra but lacks the chops for a solo career. She finds her way to the Berlin demimonde of cabarets catering to gay men, lesbians and transvestites; and although her legs are already drawing attention, she feels most at home in a tuxedo.

She evolves from hanger-on to performer, and it turns out she can sing. Her voice, if not a precision instrument, is an expressive one. As for acting, she and her gams slog their way through minor roles in German films until the big break comes: the role of Lola Lola in “The Blue Angel” (1930). Dietrich is whisked off to Hollywood, where Paramount is seeking an answer to MGM’s Garbo. Paradoxically, Gortner suggests, Dietrich comes into her own when she stops resisting the comparison to her Swedish rival. “Perhaps all I needed to do was cultivate a magnificent indifference like Garbo,” she thinks. Source:

“Divergent” star openly committed to being pansexual during one of her interviews, which lead many to believe that Shailene Woodley is lesbian. Reports suggests that she has dated “Juno” star Ellen Page and Emma Stone in the past.

In her interview with Hollywood Reporter, while mentioning some trek, Woodley declared, “I fall in love with human beings based on who they are, not based on what they do or what sex they are!” 

According OK! Magazine, Woodley and Ellen Page were caught flirting during their visit to L.A. Hypster Guru claims her being associated with Emma Stone. It further noted, “Emma Stone has been extremely guarded, but when she met Shailene Woodley she was finally able to let go of the past. Turns out the risk was worth the reward because Emma has been overheard saying this is the real thing.”

“Divergent” co-stars Shailene Woodley and Theo James have always openly praised each other in public. They have made comments on doing weird things together which only couples are thought to be doing! Shailene Woodley and Theo James dating rumors caught so much attention that James long-time girlfriend Ruth Kearney even felt insecure. Source:

Shailene Woodley and Theo James are known to have great chemistry on screen and a great friendship off screen. While many wish the two stars were together in real life, fans can catch their fantasy come true in “Allegiant.” Fans have seen the undeniable chemistry between Woodley and James, but this time it looks like she will be sharing some hot chemistry with another actor.

Woodley is starring opposite of Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a new Oliver Stone film, and this apparently doesn’t go well with James and reports stated that the “Divergent” actor doesn’t like the fact that Woodley will be kissing Levitt. However, according to the Morning Ledger, James and Woodley are just friends, and they support each other no matter what project they are a part of. The report states that there is no reason for James to be jealous, because Levitt is married and has a baby.

Woodley understands the hype surrounding her on-screen romance with James, so much so that people are desperately hoping that the two stars will end up together in real life. Woodley is not bothered by the rumors. Whenever she is asked about a possible romance with James, the actress will "just keep answering that nothing is happening." Source:

Miles Teller's character Sutter is the self-proclaimed life of the party, while Shailene Woodley's Aimee is a bit more reserved. However, after getting dumped by his girlfriend, Sutter ends up bonding with Aimee and it's safe to say neither of them will ever be the same. 

In The Spectacular Now, Shailene's character is into comic books, which leads Sutter to do a bit of research on them to get to know Aimee better. When we asked Miles if he ever did something like that for a girl, he replied: "I play instruments and there’s a girl and her favorite song is 'Tiny Dancer.' So, I learned that on guitar and I played it for her." Shailene then playfully quipped that she was the girl he learned the song for.
Also in the film, Shailene's character mentions how opposites attract when it comes to relationships, so does she agree with that philosophy in real life? To put it simply, no. Shailene said, "I mean I think that it’s different with every single person and every relationship. We’re complete opposites but we attracted each other. I think every relationship brings something new to the table and you learn something new in each dynamic and I think that’s important to carry with you throughout life."

When it comes to Divergent – where the two essentially play enemies as opposed to love interests in this film — we asked how that will translate. Shailene replied, "I think it will seem like we don’t like each other but I feel like there will always be some sexual tension." Miles then joked, "I think Tris and Peter have a child, and that's where it goes." Shailene added, "The child's named Allegiant." On a more serious note, Miles said, "it does allow for, even though our characters may not necessarily be getting along, as actors we can still work together to get the best scene done." Source:

Though monogamy may be the norm nowadays, Michael Hammer’s study cast it as anathema to humans’ biological history—and inspired psychologist David Barash, of the University of Washington, to describe it as “a recently inspired cultural add-on.”

Another Study conducted by Dietrich Klusmann, a psychologist at the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany, provided a glimpse into the bedrooms of longtime couples. His surveys comprise one of the few systematic comparisons of female and male desire at progressive stages of committed relationships. He shows women and men in new relationships reporting, on average, more or less equal lust for each other. But for women who’ve been with their partners between one and four years, a dive begins and continues, leaving male desire far higher. Source:

A recent study published in the journal Biological Reviews suggests women's sexuality has evolved to be more fluid than men's as a mechanism to reduce tension among co-wives in polygynous marriages. Researchers believe women's sexual preferences tend to be a gray area. Straight women were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and women, even if they chose men as their sexual preference. The truth is straight women, not just lesbians, ogle at beautiful women. The distinction between admiration and same-sex fantasies should be noted, but not generalized. Women can think other women are beautiful, and not have sexual fantasies about her. Or, some women can do both. Source: 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mr. Robot (Control is Illusion) & The Spectacular Now (Electrical Memories)

“Remember the night of the hack? Remember what happened to you?” Mr. Robot asks. “All I remember is I woke up three days later,” Elliot says. Great.

The trailer then cuts to a press conference with President Obama, who seems to be taking the hack and its ramifications very seriously. As we saw in the Season 1 finale, whatever Elliot managed to pull off, the effects were devastating. “There hasn’t been anything like this in the past,” Obama appears to say, in either an amazing use of editing technology or a stealthy under-the-radar cameo. “This is going to be affecting our economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant.” He adds that the F.B.I. has pegged the attack to fsociety and to Wellick.

From there, it’s a series of fast cuts, as we move from the somewhat dazed face of Angela (Portia Doubleday), who says she “will follow her dreams no matter what,” to the usual dystopian scenery and creepy masks to scenes where it looks like Elliot might be in some serious danger when the show comes back in July. As Elliot becomes more unhinged, the trailer closes with an ominous, very on-theme message: Control is an Illusion. “Our revolution needs a leader,” Mr. Robot concludes. Whether or not Elliot will be in any position to assume that mantle any time soon remains to be seen. Source:

"Just hold it. Gives off the illusion you're having fun." The Spectacular Now (2013) starring Miles Teller.

It is a fact of neuroscience that everything we experience is actually a figment of our imagination. Although our sensations feel accurate and truthful, they do not necessarily reproduce the physical reality of the outside world. Of course, many experiences in daily life reflect the physical stimuli that send signals to the brain. But the same neural machinery that interprets inputs from our eyes, ears and other sensory organs is also responsible for our dreams, delusions and failings of memory. In other words, the real and the imagined share a physical source in the brain. Source:

One of the most intriguing physics discoveries of the last century was the existence of antimatter, material that exists as the “mirror image” of subatomic particles of matter, such as electrons, protons and quarks, but with the opposite charge. Antimatter deepened our understanding of our universe and the laws of physics, and now the same idea is being proposed to explain something equally mysterious: memory.

When memories are created and recalled, new and stronger electrical connections are created between neurons in the brain. The memory is represented by this new association between neurons. But a new theory, backed by animal research and mathematical models, suggests that at the same time that a memory is created, an “antimemory” is also spawned – that is, connections between neurons are made that provide the exact opposite pattern of electrical activity to those forming the original memory. Scientists believe that this helps maintain the balance of electrical activity in the brain.

In fact, the levels of electrical activity in the brain are finely and delicately balanced. Any excessive excitation in the brain disrupts this balance. In fact, electrical imbalance is thought to underlie some of the cognitive problems associated with psychiatric and psychological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. Source:

"The prom swirls around us. It’s a spectacular stage in the life of the buzz, the stage when you feel connected to everybody and everything. The memories I have with these people are too many to count. Dad told werewolf stories and Mom leaned into his side, looking at him like he was the original Mr. Wonderful. It seems like it’s always summer in my memories of those days. The cold memories—the fighting memories—when those start to creep in, it’s time to move on." "The Spectacular Now" (2013) by Tim Tharp

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Get A Job" in DVD/Blu-Ray, Miles Teller "Don't Ever Change" video

Starring Miles Teller, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston and Anna Kendrick, Get A Job is a “fresh and wickedly funny” comedy which follows the struggles of two recent college graduates as they try to find employment in today’s highly competitive job market.

When Will Davis (Miles Teller) and his girlfriend Jillian (Anna Kendrick) graduate from college, they assume that they will walk straight into their dream jobs and life will be perfect. Little do they know what life has in store. The pair soon find themselves lost in a sea of increasingly strange jobs. But with help from their family, friends and coworkers they soon discover that the most important (and hilarious) adventures are the ones that we don’t see coming.

Also starring Alison Brie (Mad Men), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass) and Marcia Gay Harden (Fifty Shades of Grey), the film gets its DVD release on July 4th. Source:

Though Whiplash ended up getting nominated for a number of Oscars, Miles Teller (the lead star) got paid a pretty low number for the project. How low, exactly? $8,000. That may seem like a lot to some people, but when you factor in the months of production needed to make any feature film, it’s pretty low. Teller’s first feature film was Rabbit Hole in 2010. The film starred Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as a couple who lose their son in an accident. Teller plays the boy responsible for taking his life in this indie directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Teller told Esquire that he received a $5,000 paycheck for the film. A few years and movies later, he co-starred in The Spectacular Now with Shailene Woodley, and that paycheck increased to $7,000. Source:

Miles Teller "Don't Ever Change" video.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"Fantastic Four" (Miles Teller as Reed Richards), Bryan Cranston in "The World of Philip K. Dick"

Fantastic Four opens with protagonist Reed Richards (who will grow up to be Miles Teller) as a child blessed with a scientific mind that would be the pride of most Ivy League science departments. For a big-budget tentpole featuring such iconic characters and multiple planets and dimensions, Fantastic Four is strangely insular and hermetic. For a superhero movie, Fantastic Four is curiously light on super heroics and for an action movie, it’s oddly short of action. A superhero with very similar powers, DC’s Plastic Man, is generally a figure of fun and not an Olympic-grade brooder like Reed Richards here.

But Miles Teller gives the character an intriguing prickliness all the same, playing a man so brilliant, he’s more than a little bit crazy. Trank’s Fantastic Four doesn’t seem particularly interested in being “fun.” From a critical standpoint, that’s an interesting strategy: to purposefully deny audiences a lot of the cheap kicks endemic in superhero movies for the sake of something a little more moody and cerebral. But from a commercial perspective, it’s easy to see why the film failed. 

Trank’s take on the material is dead serious, albeit in a way that allows for a surprising amount of wry, deadpan humor so understated it can be easily overlooked or missed altogether. Trank and cinematographer Matthew Jensen give the film a dark, sleek, slick look full of gunmetal blues and grays. The filmmakers also bequeath to the proceedings an ominous tone rich in portent.

These brilliant young people, who really should be out binge-drinking and exploring the wonders of casual sex, build a quantum gate to another dimension. They then travel through this gate to an alternate dimension known as Planet Zero, but when they are pulled back they discover that their interaction with this other dimension has profoundly altered them on a physical level. Trank plays the transformation of the Fantastic Four from plucky kids to mutants blessed but mostly cursed with superhuman powers from another dimension as Cronenbergian body horror.

Fantastic Four is the rare superhero movie that might actually be overly focused. Fantastic Four feels incomplete and unfinished. It was clearly designed as the first in a series of films but its historic box-office failure ensured that it is a one-off. Hell, even Story’s phenomenally shitty movie got a sequel. But Trank’s Fantastic Four is a surprisingly engaging, offbeat entry in an increasingly exhausted genre. I suspect that the future will be kinder to Fantastic Four than the present is, bringing overdue appreciation for this strange movie and its oddball charms. Source:

Travel to another dimension - clip from Fantastic Four (2015).

"The universe is information and we are stationary in it, not three dimensional and not in space or time." -Philip K. Dick

Miles Teller and Bryan Cranston in "Get a Job" (2016)

'Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick' will be a 10-part anthology, which Bryan Cranston will also executive produce along with 'Battlestar Galactica's' Ronald Moore and 'Justified's' Michael Dinner. Sony Pictures Television and British broadcaster Channel 4 said Tuesday that they are partnering on an original drama series based on the short stories by award-winning sci-fi novelist Philip K. Dick.

The 10-part anthology series, Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick, will be written and executive produced by Emmy-nominated Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) and Michael Dinner, with Bryan Cranston (Trumbo, Breaking Bad). Each episode is set to be a standalone drama, adapted and modernized for global audiences by a creative team of British and American writers. The series will both illustrate the writer’s prophetic vision and celebrate the enduring appeal of his works, which include The Man in the High Castle, A Scanner Darkly and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which became Ridley Scott's hit Blade Runner.

"This is an electric dream come true," said Cranston. "We are so thrilled to be able to explore and expand upon the evergreen themes found in the incredible work of this literary master." Source:

Monday, May 09, 2016

The new manliness (male tears), Miles Teller "Modern Don Juan" video

“The new manliness,” Tom Lutz writes in his Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears, “encouraged men to curb their emotional expression.” Unblushing, heterosexual masculinity was useful for both corporate profit and the decades of combat that would follow the Industrial Revolution. The poet of sensibility gave way to some of the most enduring stereotypes of masculinity: the rugged hyper-individualist, the alienated writer, and the emotionally repressed marketplace man. 

The great irony, of course, is that Don Draper is his own capitalistic invention. The crying man never truly disappeared; he just became subject to market forces and scripts of gender that regulated his excess. Sure, a man could cry over death or a football game, but the tears were subject to a Protestant ethic of gentlemanly restraint. Those who showed too much vulnerable emotion—over the wrong things—were subject to censure, a means of hemming in the ever-shifting, ever-important boundaries of gender. In the twenty-first century, we explore male vulnerability in twenty-first-century ways. Thinkpieces and videos ask no one in particular, “What Makes Men Cry?” 

These pieces are haunted by a phantom—the “real man” who never cries. These paragons of masculinity, the narrative goes, are in need of some emotional release; buying into stereotypes frays at their psyche and hurts their health. But this script can’t be rewritten with dispassionate medical advice; such a massive edit requires a familiar point of departure. Thus, in the language of the Internet, simple actions like manly tears became heroic, and sexualized. Crying men were recast from “wuss” to “badass,” and shedding a few tears could help a bro get laid. Gender, tears, and vulnerability thus found its necessary semantic bridge in sexual heroism.

Miles Teller crying in "Whiplash" (2014)

Crying is inevitably framed as an iconoclastic, damn the man, tear down the establishment kind of act. Yet the crying men ask to retain their establishment potency; they ask for their emotional expression to be seen not as mundane, but heroic. And so traditional masculinity remains both a straw man and an unchallenged, ahistorical script.

Where does this leave women? Women are allowed to cry, the narrative goes—and men should be granted the same cultural permission. But this isn’t exactly true. Women are not allowed to cry as much as they are expected to cry; to be ruled by an excess of emotion and governed by irrational expression rather than rational ideas. The stereotypes are familiar: crazy ex-girlfriends, trainwrecks, the hot mess. Women’s crying is still tethered to its stigmas and stereotypes; men’s tears get to remake themselves, combining vulnerability and potency in ways that are continually validated, continually new. Male tears have been constructed to survive their own critique. 

As male tears abound, it seems worth asking, for whom exactly is the renegotiation of the publicly vulnerable man for? If, as historians of emotions have argued, that the stereotype of the stoic, tearless man was an invention of capitalism, created for the purpose of lining the pockets of industrial tycoons and underpinned by nationalism, then who does the new vulnerability serve? Perhaps some idea of authentic individuality, which is, not coincidentally, what brands want right now too. Vanity Fair jokingly labeled male tears the “hottest trend in movies.” The New Yorker celebrated the vulnerable masculinity depicted on Outlander and The Americans. The script of manhood is being rewritten. Male tears are no longer the mockable stuff of ironic misandry: for the first time ever, masculine vulnerability has the power to sell on a large capitalist scale. Source:

Miles Teller "Modern Don Juan" video.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Sonic Youth's "Spinhead Sessions", "The Spectacular Now" extracts

The rock star thing has always felt dishonest to me—stylized and gestural, even goofy. I’ve always felt uncomfortable giving people what they want or expect. Lydia Lunch just stood there onstage, refusing to move.  “Lydia Lunch is a genius!,” Dan Graham said:  “She is really frigid — see how she doesn’t move her body at all? She doesn’t want to give anything to the audience.” Even though Lydia had a much scarier persona, I could relate to that. Still, I’ve always believed that the radical is far more interesting when it looks benign and ordinary on the outside. I had no idea what image I projected onstage or off, but I was willing to let myself be unknown forever. Self-consciousness was the beginning of creative death to me. As J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. liked to say when asked about being in a band, “It’s not fun. It’s not about having fun.” Bruce Pavitt, who founded the record label Sub Pop, told me that if I liked Mudhoney I’d “love Nirvana.” He added, “Kurt Cobain is like Jesus. People love him. He practically walks on the audience.” —"Girl in a Band" (2015) by Kim Gordon

In 1986, after they released Evol, Sonic Youth worked on the score to Ken Friedman's film Made in U.S.A. Before they finalized the soundtrack, they recorded some rehearsal sessions.  Those recordings, made at a studio called Spinhead, have been collected and are being released this summer. Spinhead Sessions is out June 17 via Goofin'. Source:

"I am a romantic. I am in love with the feminine species. I have to withdraw everything I ever said about this girl not being hot. Without her goofy horse-face Tshirts and the off-brand, baggy-butt jeans, her body is absolutely fabulous. I’m not talking about gaudy curves. It’s more that her skin is so pristine. Alabaster in the glow of the digital clock. “Nudity,” I tell her, “looks awesome on you.” I actually find the movie and her commentary interesting, especially after she hits a couple of vodkas and really starts cranking. It’s one of those movies set in a screwed-up society in the near future. Totalitarianism rules. Half the characters look like refugees from a seventies punk-rock club and the other half look like space Nazis. It’s strange being on her bed in the middle of a room full of sci-fi novels and drawings of Commander Amanda Gallico on horseback."

"You might think it would be the least sexy place in the world, but that’s not the case. Instead, it’s mega-intimate, like we’re alone together in our own little, weird space capsule, hurtling through the universe. “I like you so much,” she says between kisses. And I can tell she wants to say love instead of like, not because she really does love me but because she just wants to say it." —"The Spectacular Now" (2013) by Tim Tharp

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Boxing Films: Bleed for This (Miles Teller), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Robert Montgomery)

Bleed for This, Miles Teller's boxer biopic, has received a fall release date via Open Road. The Ben Younger-directed feature will have a limited release on Nov. 4, after which it will go wide on Nov. 23. On its wide release date, Bleed for This will be getting in the ring with three other titles over the Thanksgiving holiday. It will be going toe-to-toe with Disney animated pic Moana, Brad Pitt's WWII drama Allied and Billy Bob Thornton holiday film Bad Santa 2.

Bleed for This tells the true story of boxer Vinny Pazienza, who won two world title fights only to be taken down in the prime of his career by a car accident that injured his spine. Trainer Kevin Rooney (played by Aaron Eckhart) works with Vinny to not only get him to walk again, but get him back in the ring. Source:

New Criterion Blu-Ray Release on 14 Jun 2016: A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident. He finds himself in heaven but is told, by a wry angel named Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), that his death was a clerical error, and that he can return to Earth by entering the body of a corrupt (and about-to-be-murdered) financier—whose soul could use a transplant. Nominated for seven Oscars (it won two) and the inspiration for a sequel with Rita Hayworth and two remakes, Alexander Hall’s effervescent Here Comes Mr. Jordan is comic perfection.

-New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
-New conversation between critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker/distributor Michael Schlesinger
-Audio interview from 1991 in which actor Elizabeth Montgomery discusses her father, actor Robert Montgomery
-Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Here Comes Mr. Jordan from 1942 starring Cary Grant, Claude Rains, Evelyn Keyes, and James Gleason
-PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme