Monday, August 14, 2017

Twin Peaks' time loop, Baby Driver's ending

A sleeping brain can form fresh memories, according to a team of neuroscientists. The idea that humans can learn while asleep, a concept sometimes called hypnopaedia, has a long and odd history. It hit a particularly strange note in 1927, when New York inventor A. B. Saliger debuted the Psycho-phone. He billed the device as an "automatic suggestion machine." The Psycho-phone was a phonograph connected to a clock. Researchers in the 1950s dismantled hypnopaedia's more outlandish claims. Sleepers cannot wake up with brains filled with new meaning or facts, Rand Corp. researchers reported in 1956. Instead, test subjects who listened to trivia at night woke up with "non-recall." In the new research, Thomas Andrillon and his colleagues said: "There is no predictability." But memorising acoustic patterns like white noise happens automatically. "The sleeping brain is including a lot of information that is happening outside," Andrillon said, "and processing it to quite an impressive degree of complexity." This marked the first time that researchers had "evidence for the sleep stages involved in the formation of completely new memories," said Jan Born, a neuroscientist at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Source:

In “Part 14,” “Twin Peaks” rewarded belief and purity. Andy (Harry Goaz) captures a glimpse of the famous shot from the series’ pilot, in which a girl streaks, crying, across the lawn of Twin Peaks High School, having just learned that Laura Palmer died. Andy witnesses the birth of evil, the dirty bearded men, Laura Palmer flanked by angels, and Dual Coopers staring at him. Andy may be simple, but he’s also pure of heart. He always has been, and nothing has been able to corrupt him. David Lynch plays Gordon Cole, whose powerful hearing aid allows him to hear vital conversation, but also makes everyday sounds like the window washer’s squeegee into an agony of information overload. 

One of the most predominant theories about what’s going on in this season of Twin Peaks is that time has broken down somehow, that the universe has split open and started to devour our reality in a way that causes things to loop and repeat themselves, or events to happen out of order. Twin Peaks is trapped in the most horrible moments of the past because all of us are. And if you accept that time is just a thing we’ve come up with to make sense of how we’re trapped in this never-ending current, it becomes easier to slip loose of it. Time heals all wounds — but what happens if you can’t stop poking at those wounds? Mightn’t time start to fray at the edges? “We are like the dreamer who dreams and lives inside the dream, but who is the dreamer?” Source:

Essentially, Ansel Elgort thinks that there is a future for Baby and Debora, but that it's not really what we see play out in the final scenes. Instead, it's a fantastical vision of what that eventual reunion may behence the use of the black and white. "The postcard is really the key element in the ending. Baby knows that Debora is going to wait for him. With the postcard he got from her. I wouldn't expect my girlfriend of five years to wait for so long, my current girlfriend. And then if she said, 'I really want to,' I would be extremely touched, and I felt that as Baby," said Elgort. Edgar Wright thinks the end scene is up for interpretation and detailed why he made the decision to have Baby turn himself inrather than either get killed Bonnie and Clyde-style or live on a la True Romance: "Baby gives himself up not to implicate her in anything else. He would take the wrap for her, which is sort of a hugely romantic gesture." Source:

Guillermo del Toro called Baby Driver “a fable, complete with its very own Disney prince and princess, but it's also rock 'n' roll. Meaning the magic exists in a dirty, genre-tainted world. But, unlike Edgar's previous films this stakes new, unironic territory. This is earnest and unprotected. It wears Edgar's heart on its sleeve.” The spectacle of Baby Driver is a wonder to behold, but its cast of characters is what puts it over the top. Elgort is a likable and kind-hearted protagonist, injecting Baby with a sweet innocence that makes him endearing. Wright allows viewers to truly become invested in the young driver by depicting his touching relationships with Debora and his foster parent Joe (CJ Jones). Elgort’s charm is a key reason why his performance works so well. Baby can shift gears and be as no-nonsense as any of his criminal associates – particularly towards the end of the film. Elgort also has nice chemistry with James, and the two are a delight to watch when they’re together and young love blossoms between them. Their dynamic arguably could have used a little more development, but they make a great couple nonetheless. Source:

Results for long-term romantic love showed recruitment of opioid and serotonin-rich neural regions. These systems have the capacity to modulate anxiety and pain, and are central brain targets for the treatment of anxiety, obsessive–compulsive disorder and depression. Thus, present findings are in line with behavioral observations suggesting that one key distinction between romantic love in its early and later stages is greater calm associated with the latter. Indeed, research suggests that romantic love is associated with marital satisfaction in long-term marriages, suggesting that romantic love—associated with engagement, sexual interest and lower attention to alternative partners—may promote pair-bond maintenance through sustained reward. Source:

Baby is a lot like rabid B-movie connoisseur Clarence Worley in the Quentin Tarantino-scripted “True Romance,” or fellow Elvis devotee Sailor Ripley in David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart”: Such obsessive characters prove intensely passionate, slightly crazy, and as committed to their women as they are to the quirks that preoccupy them the rest of the time. Elgort proves adorably awkward around Lily James’ character, Debora. (Ladies just love a damaged-goods guy like Baby, with his childhood trauma, mommy issues, and bad-boy streak.) Baby is now thoroughly, obsessively in love, and every song may as well be about her in his mind. Baby comes across borderline autistic in most social situations, but put him behind the wheel of a car, and he’s a nimble, fast-acting pilot, steering his manual-transmission getaway vehicle out of nearly any bind. Typically, directors pick the soundtrack to suit what is happening on screen, but in this case, Wright’s obsessive hero seems to be deejaying his own life, using music to decide his fate. Source:

The majority of high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have had or are interested in romantic relationships, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Previous research has found that ASD individuals fall behind their peers in areas such as employment and relationships. ASD individuals have difficulties interpreting body language, eye contact and facial expressions which can make social situations challenging. Participants reported that it is the barriers to initiating and maintaining relationships, rather than lack of interest that prevent romantic relationships from developing. Source:

“All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music”, English philosopher Walter Pater wrote. “The studio have asked me to think about writing a Baby Driver sequel and it is one that I might do a sequel to because I think there’s somewhere more to go with it in terms of the characters,” Edgar Wright told Empire. “Baby has got a new place.” So does the director have any idea as to where a follow-up could go? “Most sequels you have to contrive something, unless there’s somewhere deeper for them to go. I think with Baby Driver there’s more that you can do in that realm, and I sort of have an idea that if you did another [film] you would subvert his involvement in the crime in a different way so he’s not the apprentice anymore.” Man Driver actually makes perfect sense if you know that Wright had a habit of shouting “man driver!” at Ansel Elgort while shooting in order to make the actor feel “tough,” as Wright revealed at the film’s South by Southwest Festival premiere. Upcoming for Elgort is Billionaire Boys Club with director James Fox. Source:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Nerdy Romances (Elgort & Woodley), MDMA, Todd Haynes' Velvet Underground documentary

In The Fault in Our Stars the young lovers—Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort)—are obsessed with a book (titled "An Imperial Affliction") that ends in the middle of a sentence by a reclusive author. Hazel and Augustus take a ride on a roller coaster of emotions, preoccupied with knowing what happens to the rest of the characters in the aftermath of the book, even traveling to Amsterdam to meet with the author. Though the story is about disease, love, and death, it's also about what it means to be infatuated with a work of literature. Source:

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love (2016) by Sarvenaz Tash: Graham and Roxana are the best of friends, sharing a love of Harry Potter, comics, and all things geek. Lately, though, Graham has started feeling more than just friendship for Roxy. He’s decided that New York Comic Con is the place to declare his undying love to her, especially since Robert Zinc – the reclusive creator of their all-time favorite comic book The Chronicles of Althena – is going to be there, and there’s going to be a John Hughes retrospective! The whole story unfolds over the course of the weekend at the New York Comic-Con setting and is at times hilarious, at times awkward. If they made a movie out of this book, honestly, it could be a modern teenage classic. And the book fully embraces it’s Hughes-esque inspirations. In fact, there is even a Pretty in Pink reunion panel where the many similarities in the two stories become pretty obvious. Source:

Paper Towns (2015) is John Green's second novel to be adapted for the big screen, so it makes sense that people would be comparing it to The Fault in Our Stars (starring Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley) — but the movie draws way more parallels to the work of John Hughes. Ansel Elgort makes a cameo as Mason in Paper Towns.

—Ansel Elgort: I think music is always associated with drugs... at Woodstock everyone was getting high. But, people who are really into a specific genre of music don’t need to do drugs. None of my producer friends do drugs. I’ve never done Molly (MDMA) at a concert, and I've been to so many. People who say they need Molly to listen to that, I say don’t come. If you don’t like the music, just do Molly in your bedroom.

MDMA is an amphetamine-like stimulant with psychedelic properties. Scientists are currently investigating whether the illegal party drug known “ecstasy” or “molly” could help those suffering from the post-traumatic stress disorder. Mark T. Wagner, a professor of neurology at the Medical University of South Carolina, explained: “The immediacy and magnitude of the therapeutic effect seems to defy current psychological theories of psychotherapeutic change and is instead a therapeutic epiphany life-changing experience similar to what had been described so many years ago by psychologist Abraham Maslow.” Source:

—Ansel Elgort: My background wallpaper is usually just a picture of my girlfriend. I’m constantly having to change it because I take more pictures of her than anything. I don't want anyone part of my love life besides me and the person I'm loving, my girl. (Teen Vogue mag, 2015)

A sense of humor could help you snag a date, a new study suggests. "Humor is influential," said lead study author Daniel Doerksen. If people are funnier, it makes them seem more attractive, and that in turn makes others more romantically interested in them. Previous studies have suggested that when a person is attractive, others think of them as being more humorous than less attractive people, Doerksen told Live Science. In addition, in some cases, the men got a larger boost in their attractiveness from being creative. A man may use "creative displays" to "signal" his desirable qualities, such as intelligence, to a potential female date. Women who were deemed good-looking were seen as more attractive overall, regardless of their level of creativity. "If you weren't funny, you were definitely perceived as being less attractive, so that's a word of warning," Doerksen added. He noted that the study involved only heterosexual individuals.  The findings were presented on August, 4, at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting. Source:

Vanity Fair has called Ansel Elgort: "Hollywood's most approachable leading man" this summer. “Every single day Ansel looks at the world with a new set of eyes. He is the most creative person I’ve ever met,” Shailene Woodley gushed. Elgort, unlike his character Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars, lost his virginity at age 14: "I had no clue what I was doing, and neither did the girl. I didn't even make the lighting good. The only thing that made me feel better was doing it again," he shared. 

Todd Haynes is taking on the story of pioneering rock art punks The Velvet Underground. According to Variety, the untitled VU project will “rely certainly on Andy Warhol films but also a rich culture of experimental film, a vernacular we have lost and we don’t have, that we increasingly get further removed from,” Haynes said. Because there is little documentation on the group, Haynes said researching them will be "challenging," but a deep-dive he's looking forward to by "getting in deep to the resources and material and stock and archival footage and the actual cinema and experimental work.” Haynes said The Velvet Underground was birthed out of a "truly experimental cross-section of film, contemporary art, and a rejection of mainstream consumer culture at a very rich and fertile time of the 1960s in New York City." Source:

“Heroin” (1967): No single song captures The Velvet Underground’s ethos more perfectly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not an endorsement of the drug (you only need to listen to Reed’s wry, self-deprecating laugh after he sings “it’s my wife, and it’s my life”), but it’s also not an after-school special. Like in most of his work, Reed offers a harrowing tale without any overwhelming judgement. Musically, the song mimics the narrator’s high, starting off slowly, then picking up speed and building to a frenzied crescendo before coming back down again in the end. It’s a song that serves as a portrait of a specific scene, reflecting a certain time and place when hedonistic socialites, intellectuals and bohemians converged on The Factory to challenge social norms—and it does it all with only two chords. Source:

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Glass Castle (Brie Larson), The Spectacular Now, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver)

Jeannette Walls (Brie Larson) has rejected her parents’ bohemian ideals—in extended flashbacks to her nomadic 1960s childhood—and works as a gossip columnist. The Glass Castle (2017) focuses almost exclusively on the relationship between Jeannette and her father Rex (Woody Harrelson), a brilliant, stubborn, anti-authoritarian alcoholic who constantly moves the family around in pursuit of some ill-defined romantic ideal of freedom. And while it’s impossible to completely gloss over the destructive nature of Rex’s alcoholism, The Glass Castle is far more eager to give Harrelson a passionate monologue on how you can’t touch a star but you can claim one as your own, than to dig deep into emotional ugliness. But it doesn’t help that the filmmaking choices throughout The Glass Castle default to cliché. Larson is sensitive as always in her portrayal of the adult Jeannette, and Harrelson equally fascinating in depicting Rex as a wild-eyed dreamer and hostile drunk. Source:

Americans are becoming increasingly heavy drinkers, with the greatest rise among women, older people and ethnic minorities, national surveys have shown. Harmful levels of drinking are increasing among almost all demographics in the US. The number of teetotallers is falling, while high-risk drinking and alcoholism rose sharply, according to an analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry. This means 1 in 8 Americans received a diagnosis of alcoholism in the year before the latest survey. "The increases were unprecedented relative to the past two decades," study author Bridget Grant of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Rockville, told IBTimes UK. Despite its prevalence, Americans are not sufficiently aware of the alcoholism crisis. "The increases in alcohol related outcomes may have been overshadowed by increases in less prevalent drugs like marijuana and opioids, although all increases in alcohol and other substances are important." Source:

"Did you see all of those sweat stains? It's so awesome—it's real," Shailene Woodley told the audience at the Sundance premiere of The Spectacular Now (2013). James Ponsdolt's film is filled with painfully uncomfortable moments: the uninhibited, all-consuming nature of first love; selfish self-destruction; alcohol abuse; and sweat stains.

Miles Teller is the gregarious protagonist, Sutter, Brie Larson his popular but practical ex-girlfriend, Cassidy, and Shailene Woodley as the reserved and intelligent Aimee—the understated performances are what make the film. At the film's premiere, Woodley told Teller that she'd "never worked with an actor that's been as emotionally available." While at Sundance, Interview sat down with Larson and Teller to discuss personal insecurities, auditions, and alcohol.

Miles Teller: Sutter is the feel-good party guy. He always has a drink in his hand, and a smile on his face. Where I grew up, in this small country town, people started drinking in middle school. By the time I was 14, I had a tolerance. Me and my buddies used to go across the street, steal a case of his grandpa's Old Milwaukee, put it in the woods on Tuesday, and let it sit there until Friday. Then go out, drink a bunch of it and ride our bikes out to these girls' house.

Miles Teller was arrested and charged with public intoxication on June, 18, in San Diego, a spokesperson with the San Diego Police Department confirmed to Variety. Teller was “showing signs of being under the influence of alcohol,” including slurring his speech, and had trouble keeping his balance, coming close to falling on the street. After it was determined that the 30-year-old actor was “unable to care for his own safety,”  he was taken into custody. Teller was given the option of sobering up at a detox center, but was transferred to a local jail after he was apparently uncooperative with the detox center’s staff.

Teller did, however, respond to the news via Twitter. He claimed that “wasn’t arrested,” but simply “detained,” despite the San Diego Police Department telling Variety and several other outlets that the “Whiplash” star was indeed arrested after being rejected from the detox center. “Don’t believe everything you read, especially from a third party entertainment news source trying to get clicks. Appreciate the concern,” he added in another tweet.  Source:

In Baby Driver (2017) Baby (Ansel Elgort) drinks Coke and drives very fast and very sideways in cars like a 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat, all while listening to music on his headphones—which violates a law in 15 states. Edgar Wright says there is a mural featuring a car on the wall of the diner behind Debora (Lily James) which is the "same as postcard at the end, and the same as the car in the dream."

—Ansel Elgort: I got my driving permit at 16 and then I got my license at 19 right before I went to Pittsburgh for The Fault in Our Stars, because I had done another movie and I was annoyed, being in a random city not being able to drive around. This was before Uber had popped off. And during The Fault in Our Stars (with Shailene Woodley) I was definitely the designated driver, ‘cause when I’m doing a movie or a project, I don’t drink at all. We’d go to dinner and I would drive everyone around.  Source:

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Ansel Elgort (Baby Baby) video, "Wonder Wheel"

Ansel Elgort (Baby Baby) video: A video featuring photos, film stills and scenes of Ansel Elgort and his co-stars (Shailene Woodley, Lily James, Eiza González, Chloë Moretz, etc.) and girlfriend Violetta Komyshan. Soundtrack "Ooh Wee Baby" by Jeff Barry, "Crazy About My Baby" by Randy Newman, "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes, "Baby Baby" by The Vibrators, and "Hot Rod Kelly" by The Sabres.

Your character Baby uses cassettes to record things. What is your own relationship with old school things?

Ansel Elgort: —I love old school things. My house is an old house. The house I bought in Brooklyn, New York, was built in 1890, and it has old wood details. I did some renovation on the house, but I said don’t take any of the old details out. In fact, what I did was to take out the new stuff I didn’t like it. I love old movies, old music. I like new movies and new music too but I love learning from the past. I love old clothes. I love vintage shopping. I love old cars. Old things just have like a soul to it. I think when things get more modern, they lose a bit of that soul. But it’s like that Woody Allen movie Midnight In Paris, everyone wants things from the past because the past is better. I love the past.

Ansel Elgort: —In 10 years, I want to be happy. Like that’s the most important thing for me. It feels like a lot of people in this industry aren’t happy. But that seems ridiculous to me because we’re living our dream, in doing what we love to do. So where did things go wrong? I want to make a conscious effort to be happy and to do the art I want to do. I have certain goals, and I want to follow those goals. Source:

Ansel Elgort is FANTASTIC in the lead role as Baby! So charming and smooth but not in a cocky or hammy way, it is a real star making turn from him. It is that for Lily James as well. She owns her scenes, and the two of them together are dynamite. The laundrette scene just simmers with the perfect mix of passion and love. In terms of awards, I think it’ll have a chance at a comedy musical globe nomination, maybe for Elgort too but doubtful. It’ll probably easily get that SAG stunt ensemble nomination. It’ll be in the race for a PGA nomination. In terms of Oscars, it’s sole shot is sound. Hopefully it’ll win sound mixing. Source:

Closing Night of 55th New York Film Festival — Premiere of Wonder Wheel (2017) directed by Woody Allen: In a career spanning 50 years and almost as many features, Woody Allen has periodically refined, reinvented, and redefined the terms of his art, and that’s exactly what he does with his daring new film. We’re in Coney Island in the 1950s. A lifeguard (Justin Timberlake) tells us a story that just might be filtered through his vivid imagination: a middle-aged carousel operator (Jim Belushi) and his beleaguered wife (Kate Winslet), who eke out a living on the boardwalk, are visited by his estranged daughter (Juno Temple)—a situation from which layer upon layer of all-too-human complications develop. Allen and his cinematographer, the great Vittorio Storaro, working with a remarkable cast led by Winslet in a startlingly brave, powerhouse performance, have created a bracing and truly surprising movie experience. Source:

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Twin Peaks's Reality Blur, Baby Driver (Nostalgic American Paradise), Lucid Dreams

Playing games with time: Becky called Shelly (known as Shelly Johnson, now Shelly Briggs in the 3rd Season) to complain about Steven who had been MIA two days. Mom told her to get down to the Double R for some cherry pie à la mode. A subsequent scene, set in the evening after Shelly had left work, saw Bobby hit the Double R for dinner (his usual: a plate of spaghetti and two pieces of garlic bread) and speak of an event that happened earlier that day, the discovery of “some stuff my dad left for me.” At no point did anyone reference the events of two weeks ago, when Becky went gunning for Steven upon discovering his adultery with Donna’s little sister and Bobby had to deal with madness in the streets outside the Double R.

Twin Peaks: The Return (Part 13) featured a musical performance as strange as Audrey’s reality blur. For the first time, a fictional musical act took the stage. James Hurley, former secret boyfriend to Laura Palmer, former sucker for femme fatales and neo-noir subplots, sang “Just You and I.”  One of James' signature moments in the Season 2 was recording an old school rockabilly ballad called “Just You” with Donna and Maddie singing back-up. This sincere scene segued into one of the most terrifying scenes in all of Twin Peaks, Maddie’s vision of BOB appearing in the Hayward dining room. Now, 25 years later, James was on the Roadhouse stage, singing “Just You” once again. The guitar was the same, the thin falsetto vocal was the same, and besides the bald head, even James seemed the same. 

The final moment of Part 13 might have been a comment on James and the final destination of his dead-end pining, with his fixation with what was and what could have been. We saw his uncle, Big Ed Hurley, a man also owned by the past, sitting alone behind a desk at his gas station, looking out the window at the pumps, with nothing to keep him company except his memories, most them reminding him of lost love and unrealized dreams. It was a moving still life of quiet pain and sorrow, beautifully sad and subtly devastating. Source:

Ansel Elgort gets high marks for playing Baby as a generally cool, emotionless driver. Baby Driver allows Ansel Elgort and Lily James to truly shine. I've never been a fan of car racing movies and when Baby Driver is not mired in featuring big car chase sequences, the film allows Elgort's Baby and James's Debora to shine and explore some decent on-screen chemistry. Lily James seems to be channeling Madchen Amick's Twin Peaks character for much of her performance, but when the pair shares the screen, Baby Driver hits its high notes. Source:

David Lynch once said, all his characters seem to end up in a diner sooner or later. The diner is where Baby and Debora meet and fall in love, the perfect place for the fairytale of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver to begin. Baby Driver, a reimagining of noir, takes well-worn tropes of the crime film and upends them. Baby’s father, Doc, Bats, and Buddy all threaten the dream, his fairytale ending, a golden world of warmth, soft light, the sound of his mother singing “Easy,” and Debora. 

At first glance, Baby seems to share the macho stoicism of his cinematic predecessors, but it’s a facade, a defense mechanism. Baby constantly listens to music and wears sunglasses because he needs to drown out the world and the ringing in his ears caused by a childhood accident that killed his parents and left him with tinnitus.

Baby’s and Debora’s love story seems old-fashioned, but in the world of crime stories, it’s radical. In heist films, women are usually absent (Reservoir Dogs). Partners in crime are more often than not ill-fated: Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands. Like Walter Hill’s The Driver, everyone’s dialogue in Baby Driver is hardboiled, but Baby’s and Debora’s interactions have the earnest sweetness of Hill’s Streets of Fire. The mural in Bo’s Diner is Debora’s dream: a couple in a ’59 Chevy Impala convertible, alone in the desert, watching the sunset, a Route 66 road sign beside them. It’s another kind of getaway, a getaway to a nostalgic American paradise. Debora’s dream becomes Baby’s dream.

Debora is ride or die. Even when the full horror of Baby’s “job” reveals itself to her, she believes in him. Joseph aside, the men in Baby’s life bully him, challenge him, try to stop the music. But Debora is in tune with Baby — she even walks to the rhythm of Baby’s music when he first sees her. They are always in sync, their feet tapping to the same beat as they listen to T. Rex in the laundromat, their fingertips circling the rims of their wine glasses on their fancy restaurant date.

Baby is different, he’s kindhearted and innocent. Even the title Baby Driver feels a little bit like a “fuck you” to the hardboiled machismo typical of these films. This is a coming-of-age story where Baby doesn’t lose his innocence, he reclaims it. Baby redeems himself, transcends the trauma of his past, eludes the violence of his father and of his cinematic predecessors. He makes music out of the taunts of bullies. He gets a second chance. None of it comes easy, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. Source:

About 50 per cent of us will at some point in our lives experience “waking up” and being conscious while still in a dream – possibly, we may even be able to act with intention in it. Such “lucid dreams” are not only a vivid and memorable experience for the dreamer, they represent a strange, hybrid state of waking consciousness and sleep which could tell us completely new things about our inner lives. Nightmares are among the most common debilitating symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. There is some evidence that lucid dreaming can be induced, too. Questioning the nature of one’s environment during the day – “Is this real or am I dreaming?” – increases the chances of having a lucid dream. Reports suggest that simple alterations  can significantly alter the emotional tone and experience of the dream, helping us realise it is not real and that we able to exert control over it. Brain regions involved in meta-cognition are among the most activated in lucid dreaming.  Source:

Friday, August 04, 2017

Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!), Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort (Ascendant?)

The first teaser for Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! has arrived, and it looks gloriously strange. Synopsis: A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Aronofsky has reveled in sharing sordid little teasers, like a creepy poster for the new film that features an illustration of Lawrence holding her bloody heart in her hands.

Naturally, the poster was revealed on Mother’s Day. Mother! will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival at the end of the summer, where critics and fans will finally see the project Aronofsky has been zealously guarding. The film is selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 74th Venice International Film Festival, and is scheduled to be released on September 15, 2017, by Paramount Pictures. Source:

Jennifer Lawrence and her filmmaker beau Darren Aronofsky have been avoiding the limelight at all costs since they got together in 2016, but the quiet couple are definitely stepping things up in their private relationship, a source tells E! News. The insider says, "Things are getting serious with them. They are so in love with each other." What really connects the two of them is their shared sense of humor, adds the source. "Jennifer always cracks jokes and Darren just gets her humor. They laugh all the time!" They may be low key but their romance is certainly heating up!

The source also said that the Oscar-winning actress and the Black Swan director, who met while filming their upcoming thriller Mother! in New Orleans, had "an amazing dynamic" on set. As for what's to come for the under-the-radar duo? The source says that the two have indeed discussed their future together but are "not in any rush to get married." However, marriage is "something Darren would love." The insider also noted that, "[Darren] adores Jennifer so much."  “He is a visionary,” the actress gushed of the director to Vanity Fair in their 2016 holiday issue. Source:

A new study suggests that men and women's views diverge widely on the significance of a kiss and how a kiss can have profound consequences for romantic relationships, and can even be a major factor in ending one. In a recently published article, Susan M. Hughes, Marissa A. Harrison, and Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. reveal that many college students have found themselves attracted to someone, only to discover after they kissed them for the first time that they were no longer interested. "In other words," said Gallup, "While many forces lead two people to connect romantically, the kiss, particularly the first kiss, can be a deal breaker." According to the study, kissing between sexual or romantic partners occurs in more than 90 percent of human cultures. "Kissing is part of an evolved courtship ritual," said Gallup: "When two people kiss there is a rich and complicated exchange of information involving chemical, tactile, and postural cues. This may activate evolved mechanisms that function to discourage reproduction among individuals who are genetically incompatible." Source:

'Ascendant' Series in the Works at Starz as 'Divergent' Franchise Moves to TV: The Divergent franchise is inching closer to continuing on the small screen.  Premium cable network Starz is developing a TV take on Ascendant, which was to be the fourth movie in the Divergent franchise. Ascendant is in its early stages of development. It's unclear if the project would reunite any of the stars of the films including Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Ansel Elgort. Lionsgate TV and Starz declined comment.

Shailene Woodley, for her part, has been open to completing the story. The actress, who stars as Tris, initially rejected the idea of doing a TV movie to wrap the franchise. "I signed up to tell the whole story of Tris, and I would love to be able to do that," she said in September: "Nothing would make me happier." Multiple stars are expected to opt out of their deals if the movie evolves into a TV series. Ascendant was originally poised to debut June 9 of this year, but after the franchise's third installment, Allegiant grossed a mere $66 million domestically, Lionsgate began to rethink its strategy for the fourth film based on Veronica Roth's book series. For Lionsgate TV, the Divergent series could be a win for the former independent studio that now has a cable network to supply content. Source:

Divergent – There have been three installments, starring Shailene Woodley as Tris Prior, a heroine often compared to Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen, although Woodley's Tris operated in a more alternative fashion. The first two installments, Divergent in 2014 and Insurgent in 2015, were successful, generating domestically the first $150 million and the second $130 million. However, 2016’s Allegiant barely made more it’s entire domestic run — $66 million — than the previous two installments did their opening weekends.

Although Tris' love interest in the Divergent saga was Four (Theo James), Ansel Elgort (who played Tris' brother Caleb) and Miles Teller (playing her antagonist Peter Hayes) also shared great chemistry with Shailene, and both actors would become her love interests, in The Fault in Our Stars and The Spectacular Now, respectively.

Shailene mentioned her favorite scene in The Fault in Our Stars was Hazel and Augustus consummating their relationship at a hotel room in Amsterdam. Elgort added: "We really can call it a love scene and not a sex scene—it's not lust, it's real love." Which on-screen sex scene did Shailene enjoy most: The Spectacular Now with Miles Teller or The Fault in Our Stars with Ansel Elgort? "Um," she said, "both different. I guess Ansel smells more pheromone-y and Miles smells more delicious—is delicious an appropriate word to say for a man?"

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort just won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie Awards 2015. "It's so much fun, cause I've always wanted to make out with my brother," Woodley jokingly told E! News. On a more serious note, Woodley admitted she was surprised Elgort got the part. "I actually didn't think at first that he would get it, because of our relationship in Divergent," Woodley admitted. But when the pair did a screen test together, Elgort blew the casting team away.

"Everybody in the room was sort of like: wow," a very proud Woodley gushed. And it seems Elgort enjoyed kissing his co-star so much that he offered to sub for her new love interest, Theo James, as they filmed their forthcoming flick, Insurgent. 'I asked Theo if it was alright to kiss Shailene because he wasn’t feeling well,' Ansel said during a press day for Insurgent in Los Angeles. "We were very comfortable with one another going into The Fault in Our Stars," Elgort said.

"Immediately we are totally comfortable which is nice, because sometimes you do love scenes with people and you have to kiss them and you have to be romantic and it could be very awkward. But we totally understand one another. Me and Shailene have a really platonic relationship. She's one of the best actors right now around, the fact that they put me with her twice is a huge compliment to me. It's given me confidence and made me feel great." Source:

At 18, amid his professional debut in the off-Broadway play Regrets, Ansel Elgort was the focus of a breathless Vogue story about his journey so far: “Ansel Elgort radiates the brooding magnetism of James Dean,” the piece claimed, “uplifted by a kind of glinting purity”, earmarking him as one to watch.

“I don’t walk around calling attention to myself,” Ansel Elgort recently told Billboard Magazine: “It’s important to be able to blend in, otherwise you turn into a Hollywood douchebag. I’m sure plenty of people think I am one, too. I’m super easy to hate. But it’s fine. It’s hard to be liked and successful.” Edgar Wright gave these reasons why he chose Elgort for Baby Driver: “The thing that really charmed me about him was the fact that he’s very musical, and he can play lots of instruments. Ansel is actually obsessed with music. And also he’s a great actor and a nice guy.”  Source: