Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Twin Peaks, James Dean archetype, Ansel Elgort

Is Laura Palmer’s former beau cool? James Hurley is one of the first people we meet on Twin Peaks. He’s got a leather jacket, a motorcycle, and he wants you to think he has a bad attitude. But in reality, as we quickly learn, James is a big ol’ softie, the good boy to Bobby Brigg’s criminality, just a mess of tears, big feelings, and falsetto love ballads. He was central to the plot as the story of Twin Peaks began, but as the show drifted further away from the murder of Laura Palmer, James became increasingly irrelevant. By the middle of season two, he gets himself involved in some kind of confusing noir plot. 

The show plays James entirely seriously. David Lynch clearly has a powerful love for his James Dean archetype. On the second episode of Twin Peaks: The Return, returning character Shelly (Mädchen Amick) says: “James is cool. James was always cool.” Talking to Vulture, James Marshall finally had a chance to answer the question of his coolness factor himself. “I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t think of myself that way or the character that way, thinking of yourself as tough. The tough guy. That’s other people’s opinions.” At least he’ll always have Shelly on his side. Source:

The Love Stories in Twin Peaks The Return — After Nadine tells Big Ed that it’s O.K. for him to get back together with Norma, Ed heads over to the Double R, where he nervously waits out Norma’s meeting with her business partner and occasional lover Walter Lawford, afraid that he may be too late to win her back. While Otis Redding’s Monterey Pop Festival performance of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” rises and falls on the soundtrack, Ed closes his eyes and eavesdrops, finally allowing himself a slight smile when Norma tells Walter that she wants to exercise her option in her contract to sell her interest in their chain of diners. It’s all like a roller coaster love story, with moments of humor and emotion. More love stories pop up as the episode goes on, and they become more and more twisted: Steven (Caleb Landry Jones) and Gersten (Alicia Witt) exhibit an intense physical and emotional infatuation with each other as they writhe around at the base of a tree, but they’re clearly not well (nor are they good people). 

Even the mysterious Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) and Charlie (Clark Middleton) relationship continued to fall apart, ending with her at his throat screaming, “I hate you!” into his face. In addition to taking his character’s name from “Sunset Boulevard,” Lynch paid homage to Billy Wilder’s movie in his “Mulholland Drive,” another study of Hollywood castoffs. (Also, both those pictures are often listed officially in film guides with the names of their respective streets shortened: “Mulholland Dr.” and “Sunset Blvd.”) In Part 4, Wally (played by Michael Cera), the son of Deputy Andy Brennan and his wife Lucy, becomes a goofily comic riff on Marlon Brando’s persona in the 1953 motorcycle-gang drama “The Wild One.” Despite Lynch’s reputation as a maverick, he actually has a lot of reverence for classic Hollywood movies. Source:

For some filmmakers today, all forms of dating, online or in person, are ripe for social critique. In Yorgos Lanthimos’s black comedy The Lobster, for example, the world of romance is portrayed as a dismal social obligation, where those who don’t find their perfect match in 45 days are literally transformed into an animal of their choosing. In the world of The Lobster, the quest for love is robbed of any poetry or eroticism, as people are matched to one another like contestants in an incredibly sad real-world game show, and those who disapprove protest by disavowing love completely, opting instead to dance alone at night, listening to music through their own individual headphones.

While The Lobster paints a portrait of modern love that is ultimately bleak, films such as Marjorie Prime or Her, which focus on our changing relationship to AI, unabashedly insist on love’s power to prevail over loneliness and disconnection, and even point to the ways the our modern love stories may not be so different from the ones that existed in the past. These gentle explorations of future kinds of love don’t offer alternatives to old ideas about love. Rather, they reiterate what about love can never be replicated, and show how in a world where romance is often portrayed as just another product you can buy, real expressions of love matter precisely because of how easy it is for them to slip away. Source:

Edgar Wright finds in the protagonist’s primal connection to cars and music a poignant symbol for his emotional isolation, his need to hold the world at bay. First, there’s the time spent on making Baby a character worth rooting for: vulnerable yet athletic, handsome yet at the same time geeky: when he isn’t driving a car sideways, he also has a strange penchant for recording bits of conversation and then turning them into experimental pieces of electronic music. Then there are the action scenes, which aren’t so much John Woo or Jerry Bruckheimer as Busby Berkeley; beneath all the designer violence and pounding music, Baby Driver’s good natured to the point of being almost quaint. Source:

Baby Driver has pulled in $175,108,441 worldwide to date. The film is a sugar missile of endorphins aimed directly at the movie dork’s pleasure center, so eager to get you on its candy-crush wavelength that resistance doesn’t just seem futile, but downright uncharitable. We’ve all imagined ourselves, while walking down the street listening to the music in our ears at maximum volume, in a private movie of our own creation, and it is quite the achievement of Wright to have essentially made that movie real. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World—still Wright’s best film—wore a lightness on its sleeve, its self-referential and pop-culture-riffing nature a healthy defense against any accusations of being overly precious. Baby Driver can feel a little 'Things to Do in a John Hughes Movie When You’re Dead', an odd mashup of quirky/gritty crime thriller and a lively, bubble-gum-colored music video. Source:

People who are sexually attracted to each other and have a lasting and successful relationship may be said to be 'well matched'. However, it has proved very difficult for psychologists to decide in exactly which ways such couples are matched. A sample of women born in the early 1920s were studied in the United States and those who became upwardly mobile through marriage were compared with the others who remained 'in their own class.' Upwardly mobile women were characterized by high physical attractiveness, a desire to impress and control others, and an avoidance of casual dating. The effect of physical attractiveness was most marked among members of the working class where it was more predictive of marriage to a man of higher class than educational attainment was. Sexual experience among college women between 1958 and 1968 arose, particularly in more casual liaisons. By 1972 three-quarters of students, male and female, had had intercourse, and the overall difference between sexes had at last vanished.

More attractive girls had been in love more often than less attractive ones, perhaps because they met more attractive men, and so found romance more rewarding. It has also been shown that girls with a stronger sex drive tend to form more frequent and intense attachments. The surveys found that women were twice as likely as men to break off a relationship in order to start a new one (with someone already on the scene), which probably follows from the custom of male initiative, if it is assumed that other men are less respectful of existing relationships than other women. 'Romantic Love' is a reaction against the earthiness of physical sex. Several studies found no relation between characters similarity and couple happiness, although one found unstably married couples differed on four traits whereas stably married couples' personalities tended to match. These traits were 'affectothymia' (which means outgoing and warm-hearted), 'surgency' (happy-go-lucky, enthusiastic), 'protension' (suspicious and self-opinionated), and individualism. —"Sexual Attraction" by Mark Cook & Robert McHenry (kindle, 2013)

Shailene Woodley on Her Feminist Evolution: "My biggest thing is really sisterhood. I would today consider myself a feminist. If females start working through the false narrative of jealousy and insecurity fed through a patriarchal society, then not only will we have more women feeling confident in themselves, but we will start introducing a type of matriarchy, which is what this world needs. We need more softness and more silence and more pause through the chaos."

There's no class subtext in The Fault in Our Stars like there was in Erich Segal's Love Story. There's no real emotional roller coaster ride here, since this is pretty much a one way ticket down into depressive depths, but the remarkable thing about the film is how it actually ends up celebrating resilience in the face of unimaginable trauma. Gus manages to make contact with Hazel's favorite author (think J.D. Salinger, only less accessible), who is living in Amsterdam. That gives The Fault in Our Stars a certain "quest" aspect, though what really moves the film are the intimate conversations between Hazel and Gus. Performances here are superb from top to bottom. 

While Shailene Woodley has come in for the lion's share of critical accolades, it's Ansel Elgort who repeatedly walks away with individual scenes. His performance matches Shailene Woodley's perfectly. Together they've created a cinematic love story for the ages. His eternal optimism is the right tonic for her self pity. Hazel blossoms under his unconditional love. When she finally lets her guard down and allows herself to love him just as much, there is no going back. The Fault in Our Stars was a huge box office success, earning $307 million worldwide on a modest $12 million budget. Source:

Over the last decade, Hollywood has failed to grow a new crop of young leading men like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Ryan Gosling, all of whom were Oscar-nominated for roles that helped establish them as the standard-bearers of their generation. As Kyle Buchanan pointed in Vulture, it’s starting to feel like we’re in the middle of a severe male young actor drought in America. Tobey Maguire, who amassed a résumé at age 25—including acclaimed movies like The Ice Storm and Wonder Boys—that would make most of today’s young actors green with envy, confessed: “If Leo and I were young now, I'd still aspire to work with great people, but those jobs don't exist anymore,” adding that a YA franchise would seem like his only opportunity. While it’s still possible to mint new male movie stars in America (Chris Pratt, Dylan O'Brien, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Alden Ehrenreich), most of them will have to compete with their British counterparts (Tom Hiddleston, Jamie Bell, Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, etc.) There is sometimes a certain coldness when an American actress and an English actor—as Chloë Moretz alluded, possibly talking about her co-star Aaron Taylor Johnson—play off each other.

Ansel Elgort was recently paired up with English rose Lily James in Baby Driver, but their chemistry didn't suffer at all. Miles Teller, who abandoned Adrift (and for extension Shailene Woodley) has been replaced by another British import, Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games, often coming off as a lightweight playing opposite Jennnifer Lawrence). Shailene Woodley has showed natural chemistry with Miles Teller and Ansel Elgort, in part due to the spontaneous rapport (clicking in the same cultural wavelength) she shares with both even off-screen.  Source:

Friday, August 18, 2017

Michael Cera vs Ansel Elgort (Shades of Geek)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) earned only $10.6 million over its debut weekend. Scott Wampler of Comedy Examiner puts Pilgrim’s flopping down to “Michael Cera fatigue” (which Josh Tyler of Cinema Blend also touched on, calling it 'not just a flop, one of the biggest bombs'). People Hate Michael Cera, wrote Tyler": "While he has his fans, people hate Michael Cera a lot. In particular they hate that he always plays the same character and he did it again in Scott Pilgrim. Audiences are sick of it. They're sick of him. They're especially sick of him as a leading man. Maybe that's not fair. In fact I'm almost certain it isn't. I think what people are really sick of is the whole hipster subculture, a group which has been in many cases been confused by Hollywood with geeks, when they're not."

"Even more than they hate Michael Cera, mainstream America hates hipsters. And if the hipster movement has a mascot, it's Cera. The box office performance of his films has grown progressively worse. Scott Pilgrim just had the misfortune to be there at the place where the whole Michael Cera thing all bottomed out." “I’m very proud of Scott Pilgrim, and I know that for the marketing team at Universal, it was one of their favorite movies to work on, but the truth of it is that some films are a little more complicated to get the message across,” said Edgar Wright. “No matter how sophisticated you make a movie, you still have to sell it at a pitch level.”

Baby Driver, by casting Ansel Elgort as the lead, Wright has built a distinctive action movie with strong female appeal. Encouraged by test-screening scores and a raucous South by Southwest premiere, Sony moved the film’s release date up and targeted its digital marketing to appeal to both genders. “This is still a passion project for me, but at the same time, you can cut a totally commercial trailer for it that will get people in there who haven’t seen any of my movies,” said Wright. “That, for me, is a win-win: They came for the car chases but there’s some other stuff as well, and they like the other stuff.” “I’m not ruling out a sequel idea,” Wright admitted about a Baby Driver sequel: “It has been spoken about and I have some cool ideas, so we’ll see where that goes.” Wright laughed. “Then I’ll be one of those franchise guys!” Source:

Quint (Eric Vespe) here: I ran into Ansel Elgort at CinemaCon while I was gambling after a day of watching clips and presentations and stuff. He was at the blackjack tables and I had to say hi, tell him how much I loved Baby Driver and he was as cool and nice as you could imagine. Every once in a while you meet someone with so much natural charisma you know instantly they're going to be doing big things. I thought Elgort was talented, but holy shit is his charm, timing and pure likability off the charts in this movie. I'm sure Alden Ehrenreich is going to be great as Han Solo, but after seeing Elgort in Baby Driver I'm flat out shocked he didn't get the role. Elgort's Baby is not some kind of quirky asshole. He's an incredibly smart kid that's in debt to a pretty bad guy (played with relish by Kevin Spacey). 

He's a little introverted, but he has a big heart. That big ol' heart doubles in size when he finds a soulmate in Lily James' Debora and who can blame him? It's going to be very difficult for any audience member not to fall at least a little bit in love with Deb (the sexy waitress), Baby (the good 'bad boy'), and Deb & Baby as a couple. They just click and their chemistry is so strong that they'll remind you of that couple in your life that perfectly compliment each other and know it. Everybody has one of those pairs around them. Source:

Ansel Elgort may not seem like the obvious choice to play a criminal, but Baby needs to be different things to different people, and Elgort plays sweet and sensitive as convincingly as he does focused and fearless. His range has never been tested quite like this before, but he delivers. There’s something both timeless and modern about the performance (unlike Michael Cera's too modern Scott Pilgrim) and the film. Wright’s encyclopedic knowledge of classic cinema takes him to a certain point in all of his movies, allowing his awareness of what feels funky-fresh-dope to push things into entertainment overdrive. Baby Driver is unfiltered entertainment, and sometimes that’s exactly what the Doc ordered. Source:

Ansel Elgort is seen upon arrival at Haneda Airport on August 17, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

Famous guys who travel for a living, like Ansel Elgort, know that comfort matters. They also know that the halls of any international airport in 2017 are just as visible as any red carpet. Hence Ansel Elgort's latest menswear combination: Louis Vuitton x Supreme pajama pants, a tan Officine Générale T-shirt, gleaming white sneakers, and a neon-orange leather backpack. Despite the outfit's flash, it's a practical uniform for Elgort's flight from Beijing, China, to Tokyo, Japan. The Baby Driver himself is in the middle of a worldwide tour for his film, meaning he spends most of his days on stage or on a red carpet in a suit. So when he's off duty, he's really off-duty.  Source:

It might not seem like a big deal if you like Coke while your partner likes Pepsi -- but In their study Coke vs. Pepsi: Brand Compatibility, Relationship Power, and Life Satisfaction, researchers from Duke University recently found that preferring different brands can affect our happiness in relationships more than shared interests or personality traits. The Candler Building in Atlanta, where the opening scene of Baby Driver takes place, was built by the founder of Coca Cola in 1906. Though geographically consistent for the first two minutes, the sequence eventually jumps to a different (albeit nearby) location for the next minute or so; once it reaches the freeway, things naturally speed up. Source:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ansel Elgort: Billionaire Boys Club, Thief video

Sony’s “Baby Driver” has crossed the $100 million milestone at the domestic box office after seven weeks in theaters. The actioner, starring Ansel Elgort as a talented getaway driver, has also taken in $67 million overseas. Remaining markets that have yet to open include Japan, Russia, China, Italy, and South Korea. The film was made for a relatively modest budget of $34 million and performed above expectations following its release on June 28, grossing $39 million in its first seven days. Source:

Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer hinted to Wall Street that the studio isn’t ready to roll the credits on its “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” franchises. He implied, however, that the company will only go forward with fresh installments or spinoffs in the blockbuster series if they get the sign off from “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer and “Hunger Games” creator Suzanne Collins. “There are a lot more stories to be told, and we’re ready to tell them when our creators are ready to tell those stories,” Feltheimer said during a quarterly earnings call with analysts on Tuesday. Source:

When Lucasfilm announced plans for a Han Solo prequel (2018) there didn't seem to be an actor in Hollywood who didn't want a crack at playing the younger version of the character made famous by Harrison Ford. Producer Kathleen Kennedy and the film's original directing team looked at a slew of actors between the ages of 17 and 34. At one point, the short list included Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen, and Blake Jenner, before the role was ultimately given to Alden Ehrenreich. 

As war surges in the factions all around her, Tris (Shailene Woodley) attempts to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Will fans of Divergent still be interested in finishing the story if their favorite characters have to be cast all over again? Shailene Woodley and supporting stars like Theo James and Ansel Elgort were a big selling point for fans in the movies, so if they’re not around for the TV series, will those same fans still tune in? We’ll find out soon enough. Source:

Model Vittoria Ceretti, plumed in scarlet feathers, wears a Dior dress, Vanson Leathers gloves and Alexander McQueen belt. Ansel Elgort wears: Levi’s jacket and jeans & Jutta Neumann New York wristband. Photographed by Mario Testino, Vogue magazine, September 2017.

Ansel Elgort's father is fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, best known for his work with Vogue magazine. Ansel's parents encouraged him to pursue what he loved, regardless of how much money he could make. At times, Elgort said, there are some frustrating things about the industry. “I don’t think making art should be a business, but it is,” he said: “And you have to remember that and you have to sort of navigate the business.” “I keep it real with my family and friends, and I try to keep it real with myself and my work,” he added.

Ansel Elgort said his girlfriend Violetta Komyshan doesn’t have to worry about his fans because “they love her too.” On meeting her: “I saw her on the street, and I was like, ‘Oh my god, that girl is so hot,’” Elgort said of his girlfriend. “At the time, I was 17 and she was like 15 ... she played hard to get, and finally, I was able to take her out on a date ... We’ve been dating for years and years.” Elgort is a romantic at heart, he admitted. Source:

Ansel Elgort dances and sings in between scenes of Thief, seducing his love interest Violetta Komyshan. Channeling Patrick Bateman from American Psycho, Elgort's character is both vain and dangerous, preening in front of a mirror to flex his muscles after sex and never showing emotion as events transpire around him. "I had created a character while writing and producing this song that was the Thief," Elgort tells Rolling Stone of his creepy alter ego: "I couldn't wait to bring him to life in the video. For the performance, we wanted something colorful and rich. We went with an all-leather outfit and neon lighting while I sang and danced, like a 1980s dance video."

Billionaire Boys Club is currently in post-production for a 2017 release, starring Ansel Elgort as Joe Hunt, Taron Egerton as Dean Karny, Kevin Spacey as Ron Levin and supporting roles from Emma Roberts and Cary Elwes. Plot: "A group of wealthy boys in Los Angeles during the early 1980s establish a 'get-rich-quick' scam that turns deadly." Judd Nelson, who played Joe Hunt in the 1987 telefilm, has signed on to play the father of Joe Hunt. Billionaire Boys Club (1987) aired on NBC and told the story of the Club's founder, Joe Hunt, who was convicted in 1987 of murdering con-man Ron Levin. The Billionaire Boys Club managed to woo a scientist into signing over the marketing rights to an energy machine and sought investor Ron Levin into a partnership.

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: