He’s right: It is — maybe as funny a rock film as we’ve had since the days of rock Stonehenge. But if there’s a reluctance among the movie’s principals to actually call it a comedy, that may have to do with not wanting to mislead potential viewers about just how dryly straight-faced and ultimately dark it gets. If it's possible for a film to land somewhere between Rob Reiner and "Inland Empire," this may be that movie.
It’s easy to imagine one audience where maybe people are rollicking with laughter, and then maybe another audience where people are very quiet, not knowing what to do with the psychological thriller places it goes.
Vincent, aka Annie Clark, playing herself, at least initially, as a star submitting to a documentary being made by her best friend, Brownstein, also portraying herself, up to a point. “From now on, I need more say in how other people are going to act,” the fictionalized St. Things don’t go well when Clark turns out to be as boring backstage as she is riveting on-stage, and Brownstein starts demanding tweaks to St. Vincent’s offstage persona that eventually cause her to go into some kind of narcissistic fugue state. The film has St. Vincent angrily declares in one of the film’s most hilariously trenchant moments.
Variety: Have you had a chance to see it with audiences and see where laughs come or don't come, and how people react?
24, touring behind her “Daddy’s Home” album) to hear more about how far she and Brownstein were willing to go in playing alternate-universe versions of Carrie and Annie. Vincent (who’ll be headlining the Hollywood Bowl Sept. Now that the film is off the festival circuit and hitting theaters and streaming services this weekend, Variety caught up again with St.
Is there any sort of those aspects that you enjoy most about the film as it turns out? Going back to the tonal balance of the film, there's a balance between comedy, a kind of poignance and then just total mind-f— territory.
Like the opening scene, in which your chauffeur asks to know who you are, and even though you’re being humble and saying “I’m not for everybody,” he’s really insistent on telling you, “No, I drive a lot of famous people and I’ve never heard of you before.” There are certain scenes where your character is interacting with people that seem like they had to have come out of real life.
So we thought, in a funny way, it actually would be more authentic to script something than to try to make something quote-unquote “real.” And not that that's nefarious, but it is shaped and it is through their own lens, and it is from their point of view, in large part. They are showing you what they want you to see. But then there's also the (reality) that if you’re watching a film about a musician, commissioned by that musician, then they have final cut.
It does seem like, even since “The Nowhere Inn” premiered at Sundance, there've been an untold amount of Netflix documentaries about pop stars where that pop star is the executive producer. And there's this great effort made to convince us that, even though they're completely responsible for the documentary, and it's meant to sell something, it's completely real and authentic.
Yeah, I mean, essentially with that, you're operating in the realm of propaganda. With this, it's possible that we both are playing unlikable people. And that's not what this film is. Carrie and I talked about how usually the purpose of a film about a musician or pop star would be to humanize them, and endear them to. The purpose of it isn't necessarily to endear one. [Laughs.] Intentionally so.
But not having some distance can be tricky, too. It was an incredibly warm and welcoming way to do my first foray into acting, because it was a script that I'd co-written with my best friend, and playing versions of myself. The other answer is: I don't know, because this is what I did first, and I don't know what the alternative would have been. So it was as soft a landing as one could get.
But yeah, of course, I've certainly done or seen behavior that is just wasteful — wasteful of people's energy, wasteful of people's time. That part I feel really lucky about. If you surround yourself with people who will only tell you yes, then that's the beginning of your descent.” /> And I have a great family, and I have people around me who would never let me go too far down the rabbit hole, so I feel great about that. I think in different periods of my life, I've definitely been more attached or less attached to the earth. So I've been able to learn how to be a person in the midst of being a musician and having more people know who I am. But I am lucky in that the arc and the trajectory of my career is that I've gotten a little bit more successful with every record that I've put out.
I think we went into Sundance and didn't tell anybody what to expect, and for some people, that was delightful, and then for some people, that was probably jarring in a way that they didn't love — the people didn't know what it was in any way, shape or form going in. It's a lot about setting an expectation. So you're unmoored temporarily. It goes a lot of places, that's for sure. I was  thinking about it like, you know when you reach for something to drink and you think it's water, and you drink it and it's Coca-Cola — and it's not that you don't like Coca-Cola, it's just that you thought it was going to be water?
But that’s good by me. I was so green. Vincent: The only time I saw it with an audience was at Sundance. I just thought that this is what people did! So it was a harrowing experience, I would say, to watch the film with a roomful of people. It's a wild film, and it will garner very different reactions. And I think professional actors don't go to the screenings and sit there with the audience. I think some people will love it and some people will hate it. I think that's a sign that you were taking some chances. I didn't know that. [Laughs.] I don't know why we didn't just go get a drink and come back for the Q&A. St.
Obviously, there are big, big nods to Nicolas Roeg and films like “Performance.” Yeah, I mean, we're definitely in [the realm of] Lynchian dream logic. We go psychedelic.
I mean, it's not Madonna in the back of the limo, it's me. That's like half the game. That's part of the joke. There's obviously some irony built into the premise, which is that, luckily, I'm a musician who has a career and has had some success, but I'm nowhere near a household name. Which I'm fully aware of. And I think too, just being a touring musician, half the game of getting good at what you do is knowing how to assimilate humiliation. Yeah, of course. But yeah, that's absolutely happened, of course!
But there’s a saving grace: this is a funny movie.” When “Nowhere Inn” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year, some reviewers were confused by its shifting sense of genre and tone. But it’s finding its critical champions, like the New Yorker’s Anthony Lane, who wrote this week, “As you’d imagine, the entire shebang is so naggingly self-referential, and so noisy with in-jokes, that it should, by rights, disappear up its own trombone.
But as far as an acting challenge for you in your first big lead role, did it make it easier or harder that you're ostensibly playing someone, versus a wholly fictional role? You’re playing a distilled, fictionalized version of yourself. And maybe it can be said you're already kind of doing that onstage as an artist anyway, and that's part of what this movie plays with.
Vincent told Variety in a previous interview about the film. But “The Nowhere Inn,” a new movie starring and written by St. There haven’t been a lot of sharp rock ‘n’ roll satires in recent years, with “This Is Spinal Tap” perhaps having set the bar too high for future contenders to trisk following in its platform bootsteps. No less a thing to be parodied and/or serious bogeyman than celebrity narcissism itself. Vincent and Carrie Brownstein, boldly offers a witty take on musicians and media on its way to landing as a seriocomic nightmare. The source of the horror, such as it is? It’s comedy “with a scotch of horror,” as St.
Yeah, that anything that is being watched changes its behavior. [Editor’s note: sometimes known as the Hawthorne effect or observer effect.] There's that aspect to it, that people inadvertently or subconsciously — or intentionally — change their behavior when they know a camera is on them.
But obviously you wouldn’t want to embrace the negative aspects of stardom and become as narcissistic as this character is. Watching other people maybe succumb to narcissism, gave you ever felt like you had to be on guard against accepting some of these trappings of fame as you create your artistic personas, or has it always been easy to stay, behind it all, humble Annie? Clearly some of the things that stardom has to offer are things that benefit you, boosting your ability to create and to build personas and iconography.
A fan comes into the dressing room with a heartbreaking story and real emotion, and I hijack it in order to make it about me. There's some kind of osmotic relationship or some kind of yin and yang happening where you can't both be crying. But anyway, that was one of the most fun-slash-horrible scenes to shoot. Like, if you're crying and someone starts crying with you, you kind of stop. And by the end of it, the fan is consoling me. Carrie has a joke [in the scene] where she says we can't both be crying. And it's sort of true! The most fun scene to play was the scene that, to me, is sort of the nadir of my narcissistic descent. Because I see bad behavior, really narcissistic behavior, get lauded and called brave in this day and age. Because I just can't imagine a world where not everything is about me.
It’s how the fly on a wall affects a situation. One of the things the movie does really well, in a lot of meta ways, is raise the issue of how documentaries or any sort of nonfiction have the potential to be made fictional, just by the felt presence of an observer, or certainly a filmmaker.  

There, the seemingly benevolent boss, Bardem’s Blanco, is preparing his workforce for an upcoming inspection by a group visiting local businesses to select one for a prestigious prize. After all, they manufacture scales of all shapes and sizes. “The Good Boss” takes place in and around the Blancos Básculas factory, where all things must be in balance at all times.
MK2 is handling international distribution, and has already closed deals with BIM in Italy, Alamode in Germany and Austria, Cascade in the CIS and Baltics, and Spentzos in Greece.
Lorena Jaramillo contributed to this article.” />
Blanco’s wandering eyes and sometimes poor decision making are similarly on display, as he is introduced to an attractive young intern who joins the factory’s marketing department. His incredible capabilities in staying calm under pressure are also demonstrated, with one or two teases of what happens when that calm finally breaks.
Offbeat and ironic, Fernando León de Aranoa’s “The Good Boss” is one of this year’s most highly anticipated titles set to premiere at San Sebastián and was selected this week as one of three finalists for Spain’s International Feature Film Oscar submission. Buzz around the film has been building since it was announced two years ago, and with overwhelmingly positive word of mouth spreading after several Spanish press screenings, the film is sure to make an impact in competition at the Basque festival.
In the trailer, we see the genesis of the conflict between Blanco and a disgruntled former employee who makes camp just outside the factory’s gates, importantly, on public property. We are also introduced to Miralles, a long-time friend and employee of Blanco’s whose personal problems are negatively affecting his work performance, giving an idea of how far Blanco is willing to go to support those close to him, but also the limit of his patience.
It will world premiere on Sept. 21 at the San Sebastian Film Festival before its Spanish theatrical premiere on Oct. “The Good Boss” is produced by Reposado P.C. and The Mediapro Studio with participation from public broadcasters RTVE, TV3 and pay TV operator Orange. 15, distributed by Tripictures.
and The Mediapro Studio. Variety has been given exclusive access to the international trailer for its San Sebastian world premiering workplace comedy “The Good Boss,” starring Javier Bardem and produced by Reposado P.C.
When Blanco’s management team refuses, the employee begins a one man crusade to discredit Blanco and prevent him from winning the much-coveted award. Tensions begin to mount, however, when recently fired employee Jose shows up with his two children and begins making demands for the reinstatement of his employment.

14.” /> Star Distribution will theatrically release “Cato” in Argentina on Oct.
In the urban drama, Tiago PZK plays a hip-hop artist known as Cato who gets into serious trouble with the law and the Barra Brava, a violent organized network of Argentine soccer hooligans, just as his career is about to take off.
The Walt Disney Company owns a significant stake in the Patagonik Film Group. Buenos Aires-based sales and production company FilmSharks International has snatched world sales rights to Patagonik title “Cato,” outside of Latin America, which Disney’s Star Distribution will handle. FilmSharks subsidiary, The Remake Company, will also handle remake rights.
FilmSharks has handled a slew of Patagonik titles through the years, among them: Ariel Winograd’s latest comedy “Today We Fix The World” (“Hoy Se Arregla el Mundo”), “Ten Days Without Mom,” “No Kids” and “I Married a Dumbass.”
The film’s soundtrack features an original unpublished song, “Loco,” that Tiago PZK composed for the film which is complemented by his other hits as well as those of various other artists. Tiago PZK leads a cast that includes Daniel Aráoz, Alberto Ajaka, Magela Zanotta, Rocío Hernández, Azul Fernández, Javier De Nevares, Walter Donado and Diego Mesaglio.
Produced by Patagonik and Amada Films, “Cato” was filmed between the months of April and May 2021 in Villa Tranquila and other locations in the town of Avellaneda, a province of Buenos Aires.
Tiago PZK, whose real name is Tiago Uriel Pacheco, is a popular Argentine singer of freestyle music, a form of Latino electronic dance music that first popped up in 1980s New York. The debut feature of Peta Rivero y Hornos, “Cato” stars urban artist Tiago PZK in his screen debut.
“We feel that this edgy, modern, urban tale full of music and reality will be very welcome in the international arena of distribution and remakes,” added Rud who expects to start selling the drama this fall. “We are so pleased to be in business again with Patagonik, one of the leading production companies of Ibero-America,” said FilmSharks founder and CEO, Guido Rud.
Peta Rivero y Hornos is an accomplished advertising and music video director whose award-winning shorts have played at Cannes and San Sebastian, among others.
It then cuts to a scene of him at the dinner table with a skeptical but supportive mother and sister where he tells them he wants to live off music. His dreams shatter when, goaded by his girlfriend, he decides to avenge a wrong committed by a neighbor and goes on the run from both the law and the brother of the man he shot. In the trailer, which bows exclusively in Variety, “Loco” plays in the background as the titular Cato sings at a recording studio.

While discussing her admiration for Duprat and Cohn's ability to make the difficult task of shooting a comedy seem easy, Cruz teased that she would be teaming up again with the Argentine duo in the future.
Banderas and Martínez feature as her two oil-and-water leading men, none of the three being obvious fits for the specific type of film they’ve been tasked with making. Early questions in the half-hour conference focused on how closely the actors related to their on-screen counterparts in the film, a dark comedy meta romp in which Cruz plays eccentric Palme d’Or-winning filmmaker Lola Cuevas, hired by a billionaire to adapt a prestigious novel into a cultural mega-hit that will ensure his lasting legacy before he dies.
“The truth is that in the last general elections, in the debates on TV, there wasn’t a single word… not one… zero, said in reference to culture. Therefore, when one travels to another country and sees those things Oscar is talking about, 'you feel left by the hand of God,' as my mother would say." Not cinema, theater, painting, literature or anything.
“There are worse things that happen in rehearsals. Gastón and Mariano got it quite right when criticizing certain behavior in the world of film.” “The scenes in the film aren’t that exaggerated,” said Banderas. Actors do foolish things at times.
She was also quick to acknowledge her own cherished position within the industry, explaining that while she and the two men beside her on stage are able to freely pick and chose when and where to work, that is very much the exception rather than the rule. “It depends on the season or the year and who is in power at any given moment,” she pointed out.
“There are moments that might seem ridiculous to someone who isn’t in our profession; all actors have peculiar things we do to prepare,” added Cruz. “But what is different in this film is that the actors cross a line and do not respect how their behavior is affecting other people's needs.”
After reminiscing about the spectacle of thousands lined up to welcome him and other actors at prestigious French events, he pointed out that “in France they fiercely defend and protect their cultural identity, especially its creators, and that is something the world should imitate. At the end of the day, it’s much more than just paying tribute to an artist, it's recognizing a community that helps create the identity of a nation.” Martínez used France, as many do, as the example of how a people and a government can protect and enforce their cultural heritage.
Although surely nobody would have complained if the press conference had been allowed to continue, time ran out and the actors were forced to say their goodbyes before heading off to prepare for the evening's opening gala.” />
It was a constant discussion while shooting the film.” “All of the characters were the result of working collaboratively,” Duprat explained. “The actors were far more involved than just playing a part and each had input on the script and even on the staging.
Cohn himself referenced the film, which earned Martínez a best actor award in Venice that year, as an example of his and Duprat’s unique outlook on the comedic arts. Cruz specifically namedropped the duo’s 2016 multi award-winning feature “The Distinguished Citizen,” starring her “Official Comeptition” co-star Martínez, as one of her favorites.
In fact, we’ve got plans to do more work like this together.” which they do with such charm and intelligence. I admire so much the work of  Mariano and Gastón… “Sometimes when audiences leave the theatre after a comedy, they think that those films are easier to make than dramas, but that’s not the case.
A week after taking the Volpi Cup best actress award at the Venice Film Festival, Penelope Cruz and her “Official Competition” co-stars Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez were in San Sebastian on Friday evening for the film’s Spanish premiere, where the trio hosted a press conference joined on stage by producer Jaume Roures, CEO at Mediapro, and via a video stream by the film’s writing-directing duo Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn.
But, if the result is good, then all is well and good.” Martínez agreed, adding that, “Acting is subjective, a mix of conscious and subconscious, and everyone comes to their part from a different place.
With none of the three taking full credit as the inspirations for their roles, the question was asked about where the characters did come from. With so many years in the industry between the three actors and two screenwriters, there were plenty of sources to choose from.
However, “I won’t reveal who we had in mind,” she explained, “but the truth is, any tributes we paid were done so with kindness. What we ended up with was a sort of Frankenstein based on the script and those people we know.” Cruz explained that for the role of demanding director Lola, she did draw inspiration from filmmakers with whom she’d worked in the past.
“You have to remember there are many families that make their living in this profession, and my colleagues and I must recognize every day that it’s an enormous privilege to chose the projects we make,” she explained, emphasizing that like any other profession which suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, those working in the screen industries must be supported now as much or more than ever.
As to whether Spain provides enough support to the screen industries, Cruz admitted it was a difficult question to answer, and one to which the answer changes frequently. One question regularly asked of local Spanish talent gone global which returns for San Sebastian is how the now international stars see the Spanish industry compared to others around the world.
Banderas was, not for the first time, even more specific in expressing his opinion and dissatisfaction about the relationship between the Spanish government and its cultural industries.
“We didn’t want them to act as if they were making a comedy, but rather to play their parts in a dramatic style. It’s almost as if they were making a documentary, and the discomfort and the comedy come from the situation.” “For the tone of this film we decided on a sort of uncomfortable comedy, which is something we’d done in the past with Oscar in ‘The Distinguished Citizen’ and which depends on input from our actors,” he recalled.

Major conglomerates are getting ready to take up the mantle, with the aim of propelling themselves and K-pop further onto the world stage. SM Entertainment has formally put a 20% stake up for sale, including Lee’s own 18% holding.
Its Kakao Entertainment division was formed this year from a merger of multiple components that have been acquired or grown organically. Kakao Corp. Owning a piece of SM Entertainment may deliver the killer content that some commentators suggest that Kakao Entertainment still lacks. These include a large web cartoon business, eight talent management subsidiaries, four music labels and a string of drama, film and performance production companies. arrived at media and entertainment having grown to dominate Korea’s messaging scene with its Kakao Talk app.
Hybe has already utilized its BTS-powered momentum to acquire smaller music labels, build its own Weverse digital platform for fans (and monetization), and conduct an insanely popular IPO in late 2020.
And, in a further sign of the changing times, Hybe also struck a cooperation deal with YG Plus (formerly Phoenix Holdings), a music distributor and talent agency under YG Entertainment. It cemented a partnership with Universal Music. Hybe also bolstered its digital capabilities by attracting a $363 million investment from Korean internet giant Naver into its beNX digital development unit.
Its Dear u Bubble, a direct fan-to-artist messaging app, available on subscription and boasting more than 150 artists, including some from JYP, is a direct competitor to Hybe’s Weverse. SM Entertainment has leaned into TV originals, collaborated with MGM and Mark Burnett for "K-Pop Goes Hollywood," established SM Studios and revealed plans to create more AR and VR-integrated content.
The choices are sharply contrasted.
These make SM Entertainment an attractive conquest for a wealthy new entrant into the inner circle of the K-pop realm.
“K-pop started with SM Entertainment,” he declared. A few months back Lee Soo-man appeared on stage at the 2021 World Cultural Industry Forum and boasted of his formative role in the Korean pop industry. But already the K-pop firmament is getting ready for a new king.
After enduring crisis conditions in the early 2000s, the industry embraced YouTube, enjoyed wider international success, and settled into a familiar pattern of three-way dominance by the agencies that arduously groomed, tightly controlled and were closely identified with their creations. JYP triumphed with Wonder Girls and 2PM. YG enjoyed success with Big Bang and 2NE1.
Lee and his SM Entertainment were indeed early pioneers with first-generation K-pop acts including H.O.T., TVXQ, BoA and Girls’ Generation. With rival agencies YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, K-pop emerged in the late 1990s and enjoyed export success in Japan.
The company then went a step further than any Korean artist management firm and took a huge leap overseas, buying Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings for $1 billion. That brings English-language stars Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato into its universe, while also further expanding opportunities for its Korean acts such as Seventeen and Nu'est.
CJ, producer of Oscar-winner “Parasite” and majority owner of TV production powerhouse Studio Dragon, has deep roots in film and TV, but only a modest footprint in pop (it controls broadcaster Mnet and tvN and an annual music awards show) and management. In recent months, CJ has set out ambitious plans to outspend Netflix in Korean drama production, for its Tving to displace Netflix as Korea’s No. 1 video streamer, and to become a global content hub that is on equal terms with the streaming era’s new royalty Netflix, Disney, Amazon and WarnerMedia. A piece of SM Entertainment could help these — or be a diversification too far.
Lee Soo-man may no longer be the king, but he may yet be the king-maker.” />
Hybe may be a further step behind. Korean media, supposedly citing finance industry sources, have identified Korea’s other internet giant Kakao Corp and diversified media group CJ CNM as the front-runners.
Prominent Korean media report that CJ and its guru, vice chairwoman Miky Lee as the front runners. But Kakao, valued at KRW55 trillion ($47 billion) likely has the deeper pockets.
With the emergence of BTS in 2016, the three fiefdoms became four. The band’s global success transformed the fortunes of former JYP executive Bang Si-hyuk and his Big Hit Entertainment (recently renamed Hybe Corp.) that had toiled in relative obscurity since 2008.
Like Hybe, SM Entertainment has also tried to evolve. And in doing so may have pulled ahead of YG and JYP.

And so it's really going to affect communities of color. It's already hard enough to vote and to make it even harder for communities of black and brown people, is unfair.” On a more serious note, Longoria expressed her disappointment and outrage over her home state of Texas’ new abortion laws. The redlining, the gerrymandering, the redistricting, all of that's next after the census. I need people to wake up in Texas and really stand up for human rights because that's what this is, an infringement. “I think it's so hypocritical that Republicans are saying, ‘No mask, my body' or 'No vaccine, my body.’ But you're going to control my body? And not only that, voting rights is next. It's so hypocritical and so unfair and so disappointing,” she says. “And if we don't pay attention, it's only going to get worse.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CTXtHUlp_KI/
“A Mexican mule, which is a Moscow mule with tequila,” she says. Longoria’s favorite tequila drink?
So it's a beautiful, beautiful biopic.” But at the end of the day, it's also about one person's perspective and struggle within themselves. And you still have to persevere and the story is so many things. And when that happens, you have to work twice as hard and twice as long and be twice as good. Kidding aside, she says, “I think probably the greatest challenge was making sure we stayed true to the theme of the movie, which is opportunity is not distributed equally. It's rags to riches, it's American dream 101, it's about perseverance, it's about the underdog.
You can also find “Just for Variety” at Apple Podcasts are wherever listen to your favorite podcasts. Listen to the full interview with Longoria above.
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Longoria stands by Montañez. “I was operating from a place of authenticity and making sure I represented not only the story of Richard Montañez and the biopic that we were trying to do, but the Mexican-American community at large and making sure we represented in culture, in casting, in food, in the music,” she says.
Eva Longoria laughs when asked about the toughest challenge she faced when shooting “Flamin’ Hot,” her feature film directorial debut about  Richard Montañez, the man largely credited with the creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
The company is primarily female-run. She also talked about one of her most recent new business ventures—co-founding Casa Del Sol tequila earlier this month. “This particular team, it's not solely women, but I love highlighting the women who are playing a pivotal role to encourage others in the space to do the same.” I caught up with Longoria for this week’s episode of the “Just for Variety” podcast. “My mission has always been, whether it's in my production company or my philanthropy…it's to uplift the voices of women and celebrate them,” Longoria says.
But I will say this — you’re going to love your company more than they will ever love you. Controversy erupted earlier this year when a Los Angeles Times story claimed that Montañez exaggerated his involved in the invention of the snack. In the wake of the report, Montanez told Variety, “I was their greatest ambassador. Keep that in perspective.”
“The New Mexico heat,” Longoria says of shooting for five months in the Southwestern state. “So hot! There were days the asphalt melted underneath our camera trucks.”

"Malignant," the third act of which has shocked audiences, is also available to watch on HBO Max. James Wan's latest horror film, "Malignant," is poised to round out the top five this weekend. It's set to earn $2.5 million this weekend for an overall gross of $9.6 million.
Disney is ruling the domestic box office this weekend.
Warner Bros.' "Cry Macho," Clint Eastwood's newest film, is expected to debut in the third spot, taking in $1.59 million from 3,967 theaters on Friday. 4 with an estimated three-day gross of $3.47 million, taking its earnings to $53 million in its fourth week. Universal's slasher film "Candyman" should come in at No. Over the weekend, the neo-Western drama — which also debuted simultaneously on HBO Max — should earn $4.5 million at the box office.
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In its third weekend, Marvel and Disney's "Shang-Chi" is set to remain in the No. On Friday, the superhero adventure starring Simu Liu brought in $5.8 million from 4,070 theaters. 1 spot with an estimated gross of $20 million to $22 million, bringing its total earnings to a staggering $175 million to $177 million. It won't be long until "Shang-Chi's" gross beats that of fellow Marvel film "Black Widow," which has collected $183 million so far.
Despite new releases, "Free Guy" has held its own on the box office charts since its debut, hanging on to the No. Starring Ryan Reynolds, the sci-fi comedy brought in $1.3 million on Friday from 3,288 theaters, and is estimated to add another $4.9 million to its gross for a cume of $108.3 million. 1 spot for two weekends and staying in the top five ever since. 2 spot in its sixth week of release. Meanwhile, box office hit "Free Guy" — produced by 20th Century Studios and distributed by Disney — is expected to climb back to the No.

Press on the carpet as well as publicists and event staff also had to wear masks. Proof of full vaccination was required to attend the Friday night party. The menu included chicken sliders, salmon, noodle dishes and mini fruit pies.” />
She acknowledges that there are plenty of trans women who helped pave the way for her success. “I’m glad I could be the one who held [the door] open a little longer,” Rodriguez said.


Kathryn Hahn, nominated for her work as Agatha on “WandaVision,” told me she isn’t writing an acceptance before the ceremony. “[Agatha] is the part like when you’re a little kid saying, ‘I’m going to be an actor,'” Hahn said of her work on the show. “Oh, god no!” she exclaimed before explaining that she was happy the cast of the Disney Plus show will finally be able to celebrate the show's success together and in-person. “This is the kind of part you dream about when you’re a little kid.”
“I want to constantly keep making history. “Pose” star Mj Rodriguez, who goes into the Emmys on Sunday as the first trans woman to be nominated for an Emmy in a lead acting category, said she has been receiving a steady stream of texts from co-stars Billy Porter (who is also nominated) and Indya Moore since the start of the weekend. “I just want to constantly keep making that change,” Rodriguez told me on the red carpet. I want to be at the front of change.”
Also at the party, held outside at the TV Academy’s offices in North Hollywood and hosted by Ketel One Vodka, were nominees Anthony Anderson, Giancarlo Esposito, O-T Fagbenle, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Brendan Scannell, Chris Sullivan, Jeremy Swift, Bobby Berk, Madeline Brewer and Yvette Nicole Brown.
“Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham said the cast and crew of the Apple TV Plus show will toast their 20 noms — whether they win or lose — with drinks. A lot of drinks.
Yes, yes, yes,” she said. Do you think we’re going to get probably quite drunk afterwards? “Knowing us lot, it’ll probably be like margaritas coming out of our eyeballs.” “We’re English.
There’s no slipping in.” Rodriguez said she is proof that trans women are making inroads in Hollywood. There’s no crack. “There’s no excuses. “I am testimony that it is possible,” she said. The door is wide open and you can run right through it.


It may not have been as big and celebrity-filled as it usually is, but the TV Academy’s annual pre-Emmy party for performer nominees on Friday night was still a star-studded affair.

Production designer Laura Fox, who transformed the Four Seasons Maui into an uneasy pineapple-bedecked paradise for HBO's "The White Lotus," faced some similar challenges when creating the world of Tammy Faye Bakker for "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."
But the idea of the design was Jessica as Tammy would be the shining star, the focal point and everything else would fade away.
When they do their iconic confessional on TV, I was holding a picture to match that as closely as possible because it was infamous.
The crew were so respectful of the set. The big set was an amalgamation of all of their sets. I’d walk in and see a pile of shoes and that white carpet held up great.” /> Her dressing room had lots of shoes, so we put in 200 pairs and 20 wigs, again there was white carpet which was the signature that I gave them.
We blew those pictures up, applied a paint treatment over them and framed them. I didn’t see them as art collectors, so we placed those around the house I didn’t have hours for Jessica as Tammy to pose, so I grabbed the best pictures from the makeup tests and had a graphic designer create them.
I texted Mitchell Travers, the costume designer, and told him to go there. He also got stuff from there. I found a place called Wanda’s, it was this old grocery store filled with dolls galore, and it was this magical place. Almost everything was from Wanda’s. For the dolls that you start to see, I spent almost every weekend at a thrift store. She had old tree skirts for tiny Christmas trees, but it was an endless place.
I loved recreating the studio with the puppet show. It was tricky because when they got kicked out, all the tapes were destroyed and you couldn’t find that show, there was little reference.
Jim’s dressing room was down a labyrinth of halls and it was like this wooden war room, but also with a huge mirrored area. So the vanity, that separation of those things started to come into my mind. I found out her dressing room was floor-to-ceiling mirrors. There were no pictures of their main house, but I found their studio was still standing in South Carolina, so I went and immediately scouted it and that is where I got a lot of the clues.
I added two walls of mirrors, plus the white shag carpet and a lot of gold. There was the gold fabric wallpaper because I was thinking about ‘What makes you look and feel rich?’ And I added the pink velvet bed because it was so girly. We had a fantastic DP, Michael Gioulakis, who was not afraid of mirrors. I decided to put the bed in the middle of the room because she was always in it, and let’s not have audiences stare at a wall.
Building Tammy’s World
We found a house, but it was really hard to find the right house because this was set in the ‘80s, so when we did find one, we emptied it.
The Bakker House
The 700 Club Studios
The Living Room
Neither director Michael Showalter, nor producer-actress Jessica Chastain, who plays the title character, wanted to make fun of the flamboyant televangelist, yet parts of her life were undeniably over-the-top, such as her creepy doll collection. "It was about weaving ideas together and how to make them rich knowing they really had no exposure to taste or a decorator," she says. Fox says "research, research, research" was the key, although very few detailed descriptions of her surroundings existed, which allowed her to have creative license in building key sets such as the Bakker house and their studio.
I also interviewed people there, and everybody knows Tammy, everybody still loves Tammy. I also found this weird interview where she said she had two life-size dolls at her kitchen table, so I started to get these weird bits and pieces and that’s where it began.
Tammy’s Bedroom and Her Portraits
Fox shared sketches and insight into how she built the world of Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker and embraced their decadence.
We had a drinks tray because she was constantly eating sweets and drinking Diet Coke. The couches were white velvet, there was a lot of softness. Later on, I painted all of the green plants gold because it was suggestive of this evolution. I wanted to create that background of soft cream and golds for her to shine. The house we had was a little smaller than I would have liked but it had huge windows with that beautiful view of the lake. With the plants, I used fake plants from that era because fake plants nowadays aren’t the same. I added more gold and lamps because they lived in the same house forever and just added as they got richer.

Cotillard also discussed her character in "Annette" which won Cannes' best director award for Carax. She stars as a famous opera singer with a tormented family life. "Today, it's being much more celebrated and things are more balanced, if we need to have a private life and a family we can have that, along with a career." I think we live in a different world than in the 1940s or 1950s where stars were being 'built' and their family life were being negated," says Cotillard.
Oscar-winning French actor Marion Cotillard spoke about the "revolution" led by women to shake up patriarchy since the start of #MeToo at the San Sebastian Film Festival where she received the Donostia Award for career achievement on Friday's opening night.
"I'm from a generation which grew up watching American films (…) Even if I never really dreamed of having a career outside of my home country, American cinema was part of my culture. There are lots of filmmakers I admire in the U.S. and more largely in the English-speaking world and the Oscar gave me access to these people," says the actor, who's worked with Michael Mann, Robert Zemeckis, Christopher Nolan and Steven Soderbergh, among others.” />
"Today there's a big discussion and reassessment of the patriarchal system in which we live and where women have a relative place," argued Cotillard, who revealed that she greatly admired Greta Garbo because she was both feminine and masculine.
Cotillard, who is also at San Sebastian to present Flore Vasseur's environment-themed documentary "Bigger Than Us" which she co-produced and narrated, said she got involved in philanthropic work because she "feels a need to fight against a system, or inequalities" and to use her notoriety to "shine a light on the work of artists or activists as the ones portrayed in 'Bigger Than Us.'"
We didn't accept before, but they were tolerated by a large part of the population." Cotillard said "there are things that are no longer tolerated today.
"There was a before and an after marked by the Oscar, because it opened the doors to a more international film world, notably British and American films," she says. Speaking of her ability to work in Hollywood and in Europe, she noted that the Oscar she won for playing Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" marked a turning point in her career.
The actor says "having a somewhat normal life" also drives her inspiration and "desire to play characters that are completely different from who (she is)." "The more a character is different from me the more I get some satisfaction from the part."
"Today, as women, we know we can be supported by a community of women and men and that's an important thing. The result is that there are indeed more women, more roles for women, and the more we speak about them, the more it changes the way we look at them," she says.
"For the past several years, the subordination of women has become increasingly unacceptable in the public eye; it's always been so but we talk about it much more today, obviously, since #MeToo. It has allowed women to speak freely, it's a true revolution, an intense one and I am very happy to live it," said Cotillard, who last played opposite Adam Driver in Leos Carax's musical drama "Annette" which won a top prize at Cannes.

According to Rojas, the clearest leading indicator of subscriber growth is demand. "Demand for licensed content is the key to retaining these subscribers — streamers have no idea how content on other platforms are performing, so demand data democratizes access to this information and allows streamers to make smarter decisions on licensing new content to their platforms," he says.
Ratings concerns are of major importance to creative talent and talent representatives, who have traditionally secured bigger paydays and bonuses based on TV shows hitting certain performance benchmarks. In the streaming arena, it's hard if not impossible for talent to be armed with the information to negotiate a better deal in success.
Other platforms look at everything from how quickly users come to the show to the amount of social-media chatter generated by a given title. To analysts, in the SVOD arena, however, the rubber meets the road in quarterly earnings with subscribers.
"It was easy to expect these shows would do well, but the extent of their rapid demand growth and overnight cultural dominance was still surprising." "'The Mandalorian,' 'WandaVision,' 'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' and 'Loki' have all become the most in-demand TV series in the world across all platforms with weeks, and sometimes days, of debuting," he says. Rojas points to the massive global demand for Disney Plus' Star Wars- and Marvel-branded content as one of the biggest success stories of the youthful streaming era.
How much are they churning? "Are people watching? And what shall define how these questions are answered is the popularity of the original content each streaming service can deliver to their subscribers," von Behren says.
Brian Fuhrer, senior VP of product strategy at Nielsen Global Media, attests that the old pay-TV adage that "usage equals retention" is still critical and will be of increasing value as the streaming landscape continues to fragment.
Knowing what core users look like from an age, gender, race or ethnicity perspective can identify key opportunities and competitive weaknesses to guide program creation and acquisition from other sources.
"We are providing an objective view of what audiences want, and how much they want it," Rojas says. That's where Parrot's "Demand Measurement" service comes in. It tracks the way modern digital consumers interact with content — from researching shows on IMDB or Wikipedia, watching a trailer on YouTube, reacting to the show on social media and watching episodes of the actual series.

"From a sheer metrics perspective, the basic questions 'how many, how often, and how long' still apply to audience analysis," he continues. "Again, while platforms have great insight into their own users, understanding their competitors and what non-users of their services look like is another key component to informing strategy."
The Nielsen representative emphasized that as far as TV networks and other clients are concerned, it's business as usual in terms of setting advertising transactions based on Nielsen data.
Television in Transition
The rapid migration of TV viewers to streaming services and on-demand platforms has put added pressure on the need for transparent measurement standards at a time when Nielsen, the standard-bearer for TV ratings for decades, is under fire from the industry watchdog group Media Ratings Council.
"As the streaming space gets more crowded and major players are seeking to carve out their own success, the most important metrics to consider are audience engagement and retention," said Dietrich von Behren, chief business officer at Reelgood, a streaming navigation service that allows users to easily browse through streaming options from a single hub.
Friday: Metrics — What matters most these days as the on-demand world challenges audience measurement norms.
"Subscriber acquisition and retention are ultimately the only metrics that should matter to streamers," says Alejandro Rojas, director of applied analytics at Parrot Analytics, "but streamers need to know how to get these numbers, and global streaming-video companies need to understand which types of stories are most appealing to their audiences."
NBCU and others are motivated to take extraordinary steps to address the measurement shortcomings in the expanding TV universe because of the fear that ad-supported networks are leaving money on the table with marketers. Earlier this month, the MRC suspended its backing of Nielsen's national ratings service, amid charges the service has not been counting TV viewers correctly during the coronavirus pandemic. No rival has emerged to take Nielsen's place, though NBCUniversal is working on its own measurement system.

Tuesday: Development — How sweeping changes in production protocols are affecting the creative process.
19. This is the final installment in a five-part series examining the transformation of television as the industry prepares to celebrate the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept.
"We will also take the opportunity to focus on innovating our core products and continue to deliver data that clients can rely on, ultimately creating a better media future for the entire industry."” /> "Nielsen remains the currency of choice for media companies, advertisers and agencies," the company said in a statement to Variety, calling itself committed to the audit process and working with the MRC on resolving this suspension.
Monday: Season — Why the construct of the fall season endures despite TV's vast expansion.
"Those numbers indicate the popularity of a specific application, and can indicate both opportunity for growth, and the likelihood that subscribers will continue to pay for the service," Liu explains. Yan Liu, CEO of TVision Insights, cites co-viewing, attention, as well as the viewer's share of time spent on each application and the percentage of households with the application installed as another important metric to watch.
Netflix places its emphasis on revenue and market share — both total revenue and revenue per subscriber, an individual with knowledge of the heavyweight streamer's thinking told Variety. As such, subscriber numbers are important to the company, both in absolutes and in terms of reach. Netflix is known for carefully watching how many users start a new series, how many users watch episodes in their entirety and how many users dive in to binge-watch more than one episode in a sitting.
'Outer Banks' with 20) on a level and comparable playing field." "It allows you to put the content of very dissimilar durations (e.g. 'Grey’s Anatomy' with 376 episodes vs. This is why, Fuhrer explains, Nielsen publicly shares the minutes viewed metric for top SVOD programs.
Wednesday: Casting  — What the shift to video auditions means for actors and talent discovery.
'Mulan' subscribers were on average older (median age of 47 vs. 36) and were far less likely to have children in the home (31% vs. 47%) than the typical Disney Plus subscriber," Liu states. "The Disney Plus subscriber base is twice as likely to include homes with children as the typical viewing household, but the new subscribers from the 'Mulan' launch looked nothing like the Disney Plus core audience. "Disney Plus was able to attract new subscribers, who were older, with the launch of 'Mulan' (in 2020)," Liu notes.
"Obviously, the streamers themselves know a great deal about how many times shows are requested, but understanding the characteristics of the people that are viewing the content is going to be important for content development and valuation," he says.
In the meantime, the industry is searching for a better yardstick for the SVOD landscape, which has become amplified during the pandemic with four new prominent new streaming platforms — HBO Max, Peacock, Discovery Plus and Paramount Plus — joining Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus as major contenders for audience share. And all of these services have different metrics for their success, adding to the confusion across the industry about the performance benchmarks that matter most.
A Nielsen spokesperson said that, while the MRC's move was disappointing, the suspension "will not impact the usability of our data." Nielsen's battle with the Media Ratings Council — the New York-based organization comprised of leaders of media companies, marketers and advertising agencies — has only made the landscape of audience measurement more complicated.
Nielsen earlier this year launched the Gauge, a service that measures the share of total audience viewing and how it breaks down among broadcast, cable and streaming, as a big-picture view of the larger TV ecosystem.
Thursday: Marketing — Why the business of ballyhoo has moved from attention-getting stunts to algorithms.

While the proposal was made in jest, a collaboration with colorful, gibberish-speaking baby astronauts would be far from the most absurd thing Lil Nas has done in promoting "Montero."
Lil Nas, of course, is no stranger to breaking the internet. From his satanic lap dance in the "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" music video to the nude prison choreography in the "Industry Baby" video, Lil Nas has a knack for stirring controversy and then effortlessly coming out on top.
"@LilNasX can we get a feature on the next album?" the Teletubbies asked on Twitter, to which Lil Nas responded, "alright bet! me and tinky winky on the hook, dipsy & po on the verses and we’ll let laa laa do the outro."

Ahead of the album's release, the social media genius posted a series of hyper-real pregnancy photos, leading to a baby shower and ridiculously hilarious video, complete with a sidelong dig at DaBaby, in which Lil Nas is rushed to a hospital room before giving birth to his album.
"It's already Grammy-nominated," he says while stroking the sealed album cover.
https://twitter.com/TeletubbiesHQ/status/1437812044770709507?s=20″ />


Though despite his comedic antics, Lil Nas' debut album is nothing to laugh at. With topics ranging from coping with loneliness ("I’m spendin' all them dark months of time trapped in the lonely, loner life") to grappling with his sexual orientation ("These gay thoughts would always haunt me, I prayed God would take it from me"), the artist delivers a serious debut effort described as "strikingly personal" in Mike Wass' Variety review.
Oh, and in other Teletubbies news, Frank Ocean's lime green baby may have been Dipsy after all — props to Tinky, or whoever's running their account.
Lil Nas X's debut album "Montero" — out today — boasts features from Doja Cat to Elton John, but notably absent from the record are the Teletubbies, the surreal children's TV characters that many Gen-Zers were raised on.
 

This pictures “all kinds of artists (actors, musicians, writers) still performing, under the most unlikable circumstances, only to save their sanity, to stoke the art they deeply love, to engage in a civilizing, humanity-affirming exchange,” he added.
All the songs have been shot live and the sound of the original takes has been used, without playback. The lyrics of the songs have survived, with the music for the film being composed in the tradition of the musical theater of that time. The text of the play that is represented in the film is the original, as it was performed in 1942.
Clara Rugaard, a Sundance sensation for her performance “I Am Mother,” and Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, star of “Coda” and “Sing Street,” headline “Love Gets a Room,” a Warsaw Ghetto-set romantic musical drama directed by Rodrigo Cortés (“Buried,” “Red Lights”).
rights. Top Spanish independent A Contracorriente Films will release the film in Spain theatrically at the end of the year. Shot under the radar in order to magnify impact nearer to release when theaters return, said its producer Adrián Guerra, “Love Gets a Room” is produced and financed by Guerra’s Nostromo Pictures, with Lionsgate International handling international rights and CAA representing U.S.
Told in real time —as Rodrigo Cortés' acclaimed “Buried” – “Love Gets a Room” “engulfs the audience in an emotional adventure to discover a side of history never before told on film,” Guerra said.
Written by German bestseller writer David Safier (“Bad Karma,” “28 Days”) and Cortés, the film captures a group of actors as they perform in the heart of the Warsaw Ghetto, in a life or death context on a run-down stage, “Love Gets a Room," a real-life musical comedy that was written by playwright Jerzy Jurandot, a Polish Jew, and performed by a group of actors in the winter of 1942 at the Femina Theater in Warsaw.
“Safier discovered the existence of the original work and wanted to honor that beautiful achievement made by a group of actors now forgotten in the middle of the blackness,” Guerra told Variety.
“Love Gets a Room” captures Cortés on a roll, after the publication of his second novel, “The Extraordinary Years,” written in the great Spanish tradition of the absurd which became one of the unexpected literary hits this summer in Spain.” />

5 and offer livestreams in multiple languages across its web platforms. Ernst described it as “a breathtaking reality show and a chance to attract millions of TV viewers. Channel One will broadcast the launch on Oct.
“We certainly would have preferred arriving at the International Space Station at the same time with Tom Cruise. We would have enjoyed shooting the film together much better,” Ernst told Variety.
It remains unclear when Cruise's untitled feature will take off, but the duelling missions come amid a growing wave of amateur space exploration. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos blasted off earlier this year in a rocket built by his company Blue Origin, and on Wednesday, Musk’s SpaceX sent four Americans into orbit in what was the first space flight without a professional astronaut onboard.” />
“If you’re afraid of wolves, you shouldn’t go into the forest,” she told reporters, adding: “There is just no time left for fear.” At a news conference in Moscow on Thursday, Peresild said it was “too late” to be afraid of the cosmic task ahead.
Last year NASA announced that it was partnering with Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Tom Cruise to shoot a movie that would be partly filmed aboard the International Space Station. Directed by Doug Liman, the untitled pic was rumored to have a budget of $200 million.
Roscosmos then announced its own plans to shoot an out-of-this-world feature, hoping to achieve liftoff before its Hollywood counterpart.
The production team received a crash course in space travel earlier this year at the Yuri Gagarin Center for Cosmonaut Training. On Thursday, a commission of medical and safety experts from the center gave the project approval to go ahead.
Shipenko fielded questions about the crew’s diet in outer space, insisting they’ll have more variety than in an Earth-bound restaurant, and quipped about learning to use a spoon in zero gravity.
5 in a Soyuz spaceship piloted by Anton Shkaplerov, a veteran cosmonaut, with a backup crew on standby in the event of any last-minute medical problems. Shipenko and Peresild are scheduled to blast into orbit on Oct.
“The Challenge” is the story of a Russian doctor who’s sent to the International Space Station to save the life of a cosmonaut. If all goes according to plan, the production team will lift off next month on a 12-day mission to pull off the historic first.
The Russian super-producer drew a comparison to the first manned international space mission, which was conducted jointly by the U.S. and the Soviet Union in 1975, adding: “Since we have got a chance to travel there earlier, we will certainly use it.”
A collaboration between Russian space agency Roscosmos, public broadcaster Channel One, and leading studio Yellow, Black and White, “The Challenge” will be directed by Klim Shipenko, whose blockbuster comedy “Son of a Rich” is Russia’s highest-grossing film of all time. The movie stars Yulia Peresild, a veteran screen and stage actor who was cast after a country-wide talent search last spring.
“For me personally, this is a childhood dream coming true.” “At the age of 12, I was a member of the young cosmonaut club hoping to fly into space,” he added.
And once again, the Russians are claiming bragging rights with plans to produce the first feature film shot in outer space, ahead of Tom Cruise's upcoming $200-million space epic. More than 60 years after the Soviet Union beat the U.S. into orbit with the launch of its Sputnik satellite, a new space race is heating up between the two rivals.
Konstantin Ernst, CEO of the movie's commissioner Channel One, played down the notion of a new space race heating up the cosmos, noting that “cinema isn’t sports.”



 
In the latter category are never-before-heard variants of two of the most celebrated rockers from the 1970 "Let It Be" album, "Get Back" (here heard in "Take 8" form) and "One After 909" ("Take 3").
The version of "One After 909" has a significant difference from the 51-year-old album version: Billy Preston had taken producer George Martin's suggestion to play piano on it in the studio — and he adopted a barrelhouse style for that session — before he went back to playing organ on the rooftop concert version.
12, with Peter Jackson's multi-part film documentary finally arriving Thanksgiving week. "Let It Be: Special Edition's" release Oct. More information on the boxed set can be found here. 15 will be followed by a lavish book about the sessions and filming of the "Let It Be" movie, titled "Get Back," on Nov.
The group got what they considered the master take of "Get Back" three takes later in that same January 1969 session, although they ended up combining it with a coda recorded the following day for the ultimate studio rendering of the track. This version of "Get Back," meanwhile, is from a moment in the sessions that the Beatles, Martin and engineer Glyn Johns were all concerned that the pace was getting too slow — but even at less of a clip, it's an interesting variation, ending with Paul McCartney doing a funny vocal vamp over the coda.

https://youtu.be/BSxOand6pdU” />
It's not a radically different rendering from what was released in 1970, in that it's not a "naked" version that has been stripped of its Phil Spector-ization, but represents a fresh spin on Spector's "re-producing" of the track after original tracking sessions were complete. Finally, a 2021 mix of "Across the Universe" overseen by Giles Martin is getting its first public airing.
The Beatles' camp is heightening anticipation for the Oct. 15 release of a "Let It Be: Special Edition" boxed set by issuing four tracks to digital service providers today, representing different components of a collection that includes new mixes, unreleased vintage mixes and previously unheard alternate takes.

It's included on an EP of different mixes that rounds out the new box. George Harrison's "I Me Mine," meanwhile, is subtitled "1970 Glyn Johns Mix," representing a version that engineer Johns put together in the studio for possible release. It was the last song ever recorded by the Beatles — albeit with John Lennon missing from the session — on January 3, 1970; Johns put together this unused mix two days later, for an album that at that time was still scheduled to be released under the title "Get Back."

Although the ball isn't until next year, "Bridgerton" fans have a lot to look forward to. Plus, a "Bridgerton" spin-off, centered on a young Queen Charlotte, has also been ordered to series. Netflix renewed the show for a second season after the first season shattered records for the streamer.
You've been cordially invited to the royal Queen's Ball. So grab thy best Lady Whistledown dress and wig because your presence is requested at court.
But if you want to be transported to the Regal Era in the meantime (and meet your own Duke of Hastings while you're at it), you'll want to make sure to buy tickets to the live experience.” />
The 90-minute ball is inspired by the Regency Era London portrayed in the hit Shonda Rhimes series, and will be backed by a live string quartet that will play songs from the show, including their trademark classical renditions of contemporary hit singles. Since the event will serve cocktails and other alcoholic beverages, you have to be 21 and over to buy a ticket.
According to a statement, "Attendees will be guided through the evening by the voice of the enigmatic Lady Whistledown and presented with opportunities to prove they are deserving of Her Majesty, the Queen's attention. The experience features immersive rooms, including a visit to Madame Delacroix's modiste to get fitted for the occasion, a stop at an underground regency-era painting studio to strike their most regal pose, and a highly-anticipated visit with the Queen to try and win Her Majesty's favor."
Although the event won't take place until March of next year, tickets are already going fast for the show's first stops in Chicago, Montreal, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Tickets went on sale Thursday for "A Bridgerton Experience," a live immersive tour that will take place in several major cities across the country.

“Something in the region of about a couple of billion dollars of streaming in 2020 came from outside the DSPs, through the likes of Peloton, Instagram, TikTok and the rest,” he says. “These are what they are betting on to deliver good, continued strong growth.” As strong a showing as Warner Music had when its IPO brought a valuation of $12.75 billion last year, Mulligan thinks the climate might be even better now.
Asks, Johnson, “Other than maybe China —  where you’re getting your music services through your phone— where does growth come from to keep this healthy still-in-single-digit revenue growth that we’ve seen?”
It should be noted that Exane BNP Paribas are among the investors advising the IPO, as are Crédit Agricole, CIB, Morgan Stanley, Natixis and Société Générale. Ten other institutions, Bank of America among them, are listed in the prospectus as “financial co-advisors,” while Bank of China and Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE are credited as “other financial advisors.”
This goes back a few years to the pledge to be taking shares to the public.” “This valuation was already teed up with Tencent round one,” says Gigi Johnson, president of tech consultancy Marmel Institute, who recently wrapped an 11-year tenure on the music industry faculty at UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. “This wasn’t something to make [UMG] look cute and sexy in the last 18 months.
One eye-popping detail, on page 129 of UMG’s 306-page prospectus, might startle those who are not acclimated in the ways of IPOs: a bonus for Grainge of $150 million, plus 1% for the difference above $30 billion U.S. However, such bonuses are not unusual, according to Ives and Marmel’s Johnson — and needless to say, Grainge’s serious battle with COVID-19 last year, which saw him on a respirator and sidelined for several weeks before recovering, placed his importance to the company in drastic relief. where UMG is ultimately valued.
It’s got some JVs like the recent label announced in China, but that’s signing new artists and we know that even according to Universal’s own stats, that new frontline music is a minority of listening. It’s a slow start in terms of turning back that tide.” So, you’re competing for a minority of listening and you don’t have the benefit of all the catalog. He says this dynamic will prompt Western labels to invest in indigenous artists and repertoire. “Obviously, Universal’s doing some smart things on account of that.
Last year, the U.S. trade’s $12.2 billion accounted for more than half of the $21.6 billion global revenue reported by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, so the RIAA report sets the stage nicely for the world’s largest music company to step out from Vivendi, its parent since 2001, a move that allows investors a pure-play opportunity to capitalize on music’s momentum.
“This business has gotten a lot sexier to investors because it’s much more predictable cash flow. In short, streaming has made the industry less specifically hit-dependent: People are paying for a monthly subscription to millions of songs, rather than being lured to plunk down $17 for a CD as many times per year as the industry could manage. Mulligan has remarked more than once how the predictable revenue that streaming delivers enhances music as an “asset class” investment, a notion that would have been unthinkable even 10 years ago, and Johnson agrees. “There used to be a timing issue of when something is released and when the revenue comes in,” Johnson says.
The listing on one of the European markets reflects that corporate headquarters for the company now called Universal Music Group BV is stationed in Hilversum in the Netherlands, although its chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge is expected to continue working out of UMG’s Santa Monica quarters, now referred to as its “operational headquarters.”
“There’s a real hunger for figuring out next solutions in this industry,” Johnson says. “All of them have to work with Universal.”  But, while there’s no shortage of investment opportunities, she notes that UMG’s market-leading status keeps it at the hub of that activity.
Among the financials revealed in UMG’s prospectus are €7.43 billion ($8.7 billion) in revenue for fiscal year 2020, up 3.8% over 2019, and a half-year comparison for the start of 2021, when €3.8 billion ($4.45 billion) marked a healthy 10.75% gain over the first half of fiscal 2020.
“Put all those things together, Universal is selling at a really good time — perfect timing, you might say. “The best time to do IPO is when you are very near the peak, because you are going to get people to invest while the market is accelerating, so you’re maximizing your value there, but you’re not missing out on too much future valuation,” says Mulligan. I wouldn’t say that there’s any sign the market is going to slow down anytime soon.”
A combination of European market factors and the structure of UMG’s spin off from Vivendi means the early days of trading will likely look more volatile than one is accustomed to seeing during New York launches. Shareholders of Vivendi will automatically start the day with stock from the new company, and some will be tempted to quickly offer them up, a factor that might drag average share values down before they settle at the price where UMG will ultimately be valued.
“That’s when they were focusing on a Western industry, but they’ve got an alert in the investor community that ARPU decline is a bad thing. So, I think that is a risk.”
Universal’s vast catalog, which reaches back to the advent of recorded music and sprawls from the Beatles and Louis Armstrong to Billie Eilish and the Weeknd, is the wellspring of that more-predictable cash flow. Its prospectus points out that its current top 50 artists account for just 23% of its recorded music revenue — a statistic that would have been unthinkable during the decades when the business was based on hits and sales. But, with streaming shifting the industry from ownership to access, the economics of the business are driven by consumer’s listening preferences, rather than purchases.
But after 15 dismal years, streaming, led by Spotify, saved the day. Now analysts sing UMG’s praises, with glowing pre-IPO reports fielded by the London offices of Barclays, Exane BNP Paribas and JP Morgan. As the music industry’s value reached an unprecedented peak in 2000, the downfall was already in motion with the fast-rising popularity of file-sharing service Napster, which, for millions, made piracy a primary format for recorded music.
“That first Tencent deal is really one of the linchpins of their success, so even though [the bonus is] a big number that sticks out — and some investors could question — I think it speaks to just how important that deal was in the broader growth story.” The Tencent deal played no small role in the company’s current value, Ives notes. “It speaks to some of the inherent risks in the industry and the broader business model that every other competitor is facing, especially when it comes to doing business in China, with Tencent and others,” he says.
They really wanted Spotify in particular to push ARPU, so they just kept telling journalists about how ARPU’s going down and it’s devaluing music. In some ways, the major labels have made a rock for their own back because they made ARPU a really big industry issue. “Quite simply, in emerging markets [such as Asia, Africa and Latin America], the ARPU is lower because the subscription rates are lower, so that means that subscriber growth will out-accelerate revenue growth. “The growth of streaming in emerging markets is going to look a lot better if you are a streaming service measuring subscribers than if you’re a major label measuring revenues,” says Mulligan.
It might be a virtual ceremony, given the travel considerations of COVID, not to mention sprawling time zones, with 9 a.m. in New York and midnight at the Grainge homestead. At press time, there was no firm word on how star-studded Universal Music might strike the gong (the Dutch equivalent of the New York Stock Exchange’s bell) when trading opens on Amsterdam’s exchange. in central Europe translating to 3 a.m.
“Most of the time there will be some kind of success metric and some kind of retention metric. This would have had to be approved by the Vivendi compensation committee. It might have been arranged before the first Tencent deal.” “He’s one of the assets of the company, and I’m not surprised at all at a compensation clause,” says Johnson.
In fact, a JP Morgan report says, “We would be worried if UMG were not investing ahead of a decade of double-digit industry growth.” As the world’s largest label group, not to mention the second largest music publisher (according to Music & Copyright), UMG’s assets are more than impressive. The company recently spent hundreds of millions of dollars investing in talent — most notably in its eye-popping $300 million acquisition of Bob Dylan’s publishing catalog — a move that turned out to be prescient.
“Universal Music has managed to divest significant chunks of its business [via the Tencent and Ackman deals] at very strong valuations and it’s referenced those valuations in its supporting materials, I really expect that to have an influence on how that stock trades.” “It is 100% the right time [for such a move], with spectacular results for H1 in the U.S. coming out from the RIAA,” says Mark Mulligan, managing director of UK media analysis firm MIDiA Research.
Additional reporting by Jem Aswad. ” />
While Ives and Mulligan applaud UMG’s timing, Johnson, a former banker, says, “I might have come out sooner. They’ve kind of proven that the pandemic recession was not going to be long-term damage.”
“But now, like the software business, it’s now based on subscription models and we’ve all been trained into paying by the month. “If you look at old numbers from labels, you would see a lot of whipsaws based around major releases,” she continues. There’s no lumpiness anymore.”
One source suggests that like other companies, tax considerations enticed UMG to plant its flag in the Netherlands, but this isn’t the first time a major label has been based there. PolyGram was headquartered there until 1998, when it was bought by Seagram, then the parent company of both Universal Music and Universal Studios, an acquisition that immediately made UMG the world’s market leader.
“Even if terrible things happen, someone will want this catalog,” says Johnson.
“I think their growth is more than investors had been anticipating,” he says. After hitting some rough patches, along with the broader industry, it really feels like they have a lot of momentum going into coming years.” Wedbush’s Ives is optimistic about where it lands. “There was a view that they were maybe growing mid to high single digits; double-digit growth is impressive.
“Many had left the industry for dead a decade ago, especially with piracy and a lot of the issues facing the music industry,” says Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities. “Now they come out smelling like roses. When you look at Universal, Warner Music and overall streaming with Apple Music and Spotify, it’s been a massive turnaround that very few predicted would happen.”
That’s where a lot of new money is coming in for new investments in music tech, in new dimensions of music publishing.” There are people who are investing heavily into the creator-economy tools: With 60,000 tracks being produced a day, what do those people need? While UMG and Warner Music offer pure plays — the ability to take stakes in a music major — Johnson notes there’s no shortage of investment opportunities. “There’s a lot of money going into other areas of music right now in terms of new investment, so if you’re actually going to invest in music, Universal is almost a grand dame that may or may not have a lot of growth to it.
Morgan describes UMG as an “an extraordinary asset with exceptional leadership,” Barclays raised its estimation of UMG’s market value from €38.5 to €41.4 billion ($48.4 billion),” while Exane’s forecast says, “We think UMG is set to prosper in an industry where scale will increasingly matter, especially as relationships with digital partners become increasingly important.” The aforementioned reports from JP Morgan, Barclays and Exane laud the company, too, with the first two rating the stock as “overweight,” a term you’d much rather hear in the investment world than at the doctor’s office.
It was JP Morgan, in fact, that first declared the possibility of at least a $30 billion valuation for a stand-alone UMG, when the Tencent group’s first investment of 10% approached the finish line in late 2019. Last December, the Tencent consortium announced its intention to double its stake to 20% of UMG, exercising a call option from the first investment, again citing the valuation of $30 billion, a deal that closed in late January.
Hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman was next on UMG’s dance card, when reports in early June suggested his special purpose acquisition company Pershing Square would take a 10% stake for $4 billion at a valuation of $42 billion. That set the table for next week’s launch. Pershing acquired 7.1% of UMG in August, then late that month announced it would round its holding up to 10% with an additional deal for a 2.9% stake at $1.149 billion. Headlines on June 19 reported that Pershing was retreating from the deal, but a day later, it announced its intention to see it through.
“Now that streaming is driving huge amounts of consumption, often with indigenous music services in the Middle East, China and India, with hundreds of millions of people streaming for free, listening to local music, that is generating a cycle of internal investment in those markets.” Mulligan also warns that the appetite for local music in territories outside Western countries represents another potential challenge.
of America, which reported 27% improvement over revenue in the first six months of 2021 — a year-over-year number strongly influenced by the pandemic — which essentially promises a seventh straight year of global growth. While the stage for the IPO was set with industry rumblings in 2018 and continued with Chinese media giant Tencent’s acquisition of 20% of the company (and billionaire Bill Ackman’s acquisition of 10% last month), the company’s spinoff from parent Vivendi could not have asked for a more inviting welcome mat than this week’s robust mid-year report from the Recording Industry Assn.
They’re striking when the iron is hot in terms of the broader market opportunity.” Ives adds, “We’re at a stage where we’re really hitting the next wave of growth on streaming and overall royalties, and Universal is obviously in a clear position of strength.
But future growth, and how it plays out with ARPU (average revenue per unit, or user) is the potential warning light that Mulligan and Johnson see on the horizon. As is customary, UMG’s prospectus lays out an array of risks that it faces, including competition, how it manages new business models, regulatory challenges and the like.
As much as 60% of the company’s new stock issue will be up for grabs, when Vivendi’s stake in UMG reduces from 70% to 10%. By the mid-oughts, the music industry had lost half of its peak value, but the advent of streaming and a rising awareness of the value of intellectual property — not to mention the multi-billion dollar, albeit pandemic-hobbled touring business — have risen it to a new, more diverse peak that does not depend overwhelmingly on the sales of an overpriced slab of plastic. Now UMG is poised for a valuation of as much as $48 billion after the curtain actually rises, unleashing a wild ride and a big splash when its long-planned spinoff from parent Vivendi takes place Tuesday on the Amsterdam Euronext exchange.
With Universal Music Group on the brink of launching one of the biggest initial public offerings to date, it’s worth noting how much the music industry has changed — and hasn’t — since analysts placed the business on the critical list 20 years ago.
This broad flank of support is in stark contrast to 2018, when Spotify had to list itself on the New York Stock exchange without assistance from a single investment house. Then again, the global music business was only three years into its comeback, and the prospects of a tech startup that had not yet seen a profitable quarter don’t compare to the potential of a large, proven player with an established business model.

The five-part series, which Fox will also executive produce, marks the actor's first TV foray since ABC's desert-island thriller "Lost." Fox played Jack Shepard on the hit series across its six seasons until wrapping in 2010. He has since starred in a handful of feature films, including Brad Pitt's "World War Z" and "Bone Tomahawk" alongside Kurt Russell.
Mark Burnett, chairman of worldwide television at MGM, added: “Just over a year ago, after recognizing the immense growth potential in the international market, we launched MGM International TV Productions with the goal of telling global stories that not only entertain, but also shed light on issues that are important to today’s audiences worldwide.”
25 across multiple international locations, including Prague. The dystopian miniseries centers around a family whose lives are changed forever when oil supplies get contaminated by an infectious agent, causing society to implode in the face of global disaster. The cast will include several up-and-coming actors. Variety understands that "Last Light" is set to start shooting on Sept.
After a 7-year hiatus, Matthew Fox is returning to TV.
MGM International TV Production, which is headed by former Studiocanal executive Rola Bauer, is producing "Last Light" in association with Nordic Entertainment Group’s streaming service Viaplay and NBC streamer Peacock. It's believed MBC in the Middle East and Stan in Australia are also in the final stages of partnering on the show.
Other titles include "El Fin del Amore" for Amazon Prime Video; "Billy the Kid" and "From" for EPIX; "Shelter" for Amazon Studios; and "The Reunion," produced by Make it Happen Studio for France Televisions. "Last Light" marks the sixth greenlit project for MGM International Television Productions since launching just over a year ago. Now shooting, "The Reunion" is based on Guillaume Musso's bestselling novel "La jeune fille et la nuit." The MGM International TV studio also currently has a first-look deal with Erika Halvorsen as well as leading Spanish talent manager Ruth Franco.
We started this journey with Sydney and now with all our platform partners involved, we are poised to have this message heard in every corner of the globe." Bauer, president of MGM International TV Productions, said: “This is a timely thriller about society’s dependency on oil and its devastating effects on our planet. Diego Piasek, our head of development told me about Dennie connecting with this important message. Dennie is a multi-genre talented female director and her vision with Patrick and John, has shaped an urgent message for our audiences.
Fox is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson Teller and Hoberman. Entertainment 360 is producing along with Fox” />
Gordon, Zinman and Massett are executive producing alongside Fox, his manager William Choi of Entertainment 360, and Sydney Gallonde, who initially developed the show with several French writers, including Patrick Renault. Other executive producers are Rikke Ennis and Peter Settman.
The series was written by John Zinman and Patrick Massett, who previously teamed on "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" and "Friday Night Lights" and will serve as showrunners and executive producers.
The "Lost" and "Party of Five" star will join Joanne Froggatt ("Downton Abbey") in "Last Light," an action-packed thriller mini-series adapted from Alex Scarrow’s bestselling novel. The show will be directed by Dennie Gordon ("Jack Ryan").
“Led by fan favorites Matthew Fox and Joanne Froggatt, this sweeping international saga spans several continents that provide a stunning global backdrop, yet is grounded in a relatable and topical story. We can’t wait to share this with Peacock audiences.” "'Last Light' is the perfect combination of an action-packed limited series with a compelling family drama at its heart,” said Lisa Katz, president of scripted content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

"Those songs just touched at a moment," says Mickey Guyton of the back-to-back impact of her songs "Remember Her Name," written shortly after the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of local police, "Black Like Me," which helped soundtracked the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the murder of George Floyd (Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted) and “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?,” accompanying the perpetual mountain climb for female artists in country music. But where moments come and go, Guyton's music — and message — is timeless.
"I never thought any of the songs would get heard. It opened up so many opportunities for me that I would have never ever had. And that's just because I said, 'Enough!' I'm just going to write what is true and in my heart." When I wrote 'What Are You Gonna Tell Her?,' I didn't even initially listen to it because I thought to myself, 'I know I'm going to play this for people and they're going to be like, no, you can’t write this, you can’t sing this.' I was so conditioned to think like that. "It wasn't planned," she continues. They’re landing exactly where they were supposed to land.
"There is a huge reckoning in country music, and I see myself as doing it my own way and on my own terms," she says. Performing from the Hard Rock Cafe in Nashville, Guyton speaks candidly about her lyrics, the industry and the confidence she had to build in order to speak her truth. "I'm proud."
Guyton delivers performances of these and three new tracks ("Indigo," "Different" and "Lay It on Me") for the latest episode of “Live From My Den,” a series produced by Artists Den and available exclusively at Variety.com. 24. Guyton releases a highly anticipated new album, "Remember Her Name," on Sept.
It wasn't an easy road. I've seen so many artists come and go. "I've been in this town a long time. Guyton currently calls Los Angeles home, but Nashville is where she paid her dues as a budding musician. I've seen so many female artists come and go. The common denominator is, a lot of times, we just give up and we say, 'Okay, I won't get that support.' And I'm here to say it's not okay. And there is another way. And that's where we're at today." "I see myself at the forefront of that change," she continues.
The pandemic and "everybody having to be still for a moment" resulted in the sort of introspection people don't often have time to dedicate themselves to, offers Guyton. "It  caused all of us to look inside a little bit." Fortunately for fans of her genre-defying work, what came out of looking inside is pure art.” />

The pay packages were detailed Friday in proxy filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Salaries for senior executives at Fox Corporation declined in the company's most recent fiscal year as the owner of Fox News Channel and the Fox broadcast network reduced compensation packages as part of dealing with conditions spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox and executive chairman, saw his total compensation fall to $27.7 million in fiscal 2021, compared with $29.2 million in the previous fiscal year, marking a decrease of approximately 5%. Rupert Murdoch, the company's executive chairman and the CEO's father, saw his total compensation dip to $31.1 million, compared with $34 million in the previous fiscal year, representing a drop of approximately 8.4%.
John Nallen, the company's chief operating officer, saw his total compensation fall to $12.5 million from $13.1 million in the previous fiscal year.
Top executives at Fox had agreed to cut their base salaries during the pandemic. Fox said the decision “reduced their aggregate total target compensation by 9%.”” />

Ballerini was last feted in 2018, when the entire lineup was devoted to women artists. Of this year's class, two — Combs and Brown — are holdovers from 2019, when CMT last presented its "Artists of the Year" in the traditional manner. Stapleton had been part of the bill the year before that. That leaves Barrett, who's currently up for best new artist at the CMA Awards, as the newcomer of the otherwise young-but-veteran bunch.
Graffagnino are CMT's executives in charge of production, Leslie Fram is the exec in charge of talent, and Shanna Strassberg is talent producer. The show is executive produced by Comeaux, Switched On Entertainment’s John Hamlin and Amy Lin Johnson. Jackie Barba and Heather D.
After taking a break last year from the show's usual artist-honoring format to put a pre-recorded spotlight on pandemic heroes, "CMT Artists of the Year" will return to both a live broadcast and music celebrities being celebrated in its 2021 incarnation, set for Oct. 13.
"We look forward to returning to the Schermerhorn with a live show as we celebrate the accomplishments of Chris, Kane, Kelsea, Gabby and Luke.” “We are honored to recognize these five incredible artists who have entertained and inspired millions through their music this past year," said Margaret Comeaux, CMT's VP of production, in a statement.
ET/PT and 8 p.m. CT on Oct. 13. The 90-minute show will air at 9 p.m. As in other years prior to 2020, "Artists of the Year" will go out live in eastern and central time zones from an intimate hall at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
 ” />
The five stars selected by the country music network for 2021 honors are Chris Stapleton, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Combs.

Last week, we learned that seasoned studio chief Jim Gianopulos, who for decades has been shepherding big, successful theatrical movies, was being pushed out after four years as chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures in favor of a digital-leaning leader known for purveying lower-cost content aimed at younger consumers.
Though Gianopulos returned the financially struggling Paramount Pictures to profitability and helped oversee its big franchises and create new ones like “A Quiet Place,” he comes from a very different era, one where movies had a long exclusive runway in theaters before being available at home, and expensive box office releases with huge returns drove the business. Now, media companies are reevaluating capital investments as they attend to the immediate needs of their streaming platforms.
The changing of the legacy guard in Hollywood continues in a business focused on prioritizing content for streaming customers.
On a personal note, I’ve always been very fond of Gianopulos and consider him one of the most decent and smartest industry leaders. Of that I am certain.” /> Among his peers at other studios, he was one of the first to embrace the convergence of entertainment and new technologies. Post-Paramount, Gianopulos will surely figure out a way to parlay his savvy, decades of experience and strong ties in Hollywood into an innovative new endeavor. And, by the way, during his 16-year run at 20th Century Fox he was always thought of as ahead of the curve and at the forefront of new media.
While the abrupt move shocked many inside and outside Paramount — rumor had it that at some point production chief Emma Watts might succeed Gianopulos — it was unsurprising to learn whom his ViacomCBS bosses Bob Bakish and Shari Redstone selected to replace him.
Nickelodeon CEO Brian Robbins has been steadily rising through the ranks at Viacom and was recently given added responsibility as chief content officer of kids and family content for Paramount Plus, which launched this year as a late-in-the-game entrant to the streaming wars. (It’s now owned by Viacom). Robbins has been digitally facing for some time, having been a founder in 2012 of AwesomenessTV, which originated as a YouTube network for youth and teens and later expanded into film and TV production.

“I didn’t see any insulting of China — I saw kissing up to China,” one quipped.
For his part, however, Liu has taken any blowback in stride and reached out to viewers across the Pacific undeterred.
The particular irony is that most Chinese viewers who have managed to actually see the film abroad or otherwise have deemed it “unexpectedly good” in post-show online reflections, with some going so far as to call it the most respectful treatment of Chinese culture coming from a Western production they’ve seen in years. The lack of a mainland release will be a sad result for Disney, which has so actively courted China for this film and paid tribute to aspects of its rich culture.
Even fans still crossing their fingers for a “Shang-Chi” theatrical release have mostly admitted defeat after these comments resurfaced, and fear a broader ban on the star.
“When I was young, my parents would tell me these stories about growing up in Communist China where you had people dying of starvation,” he said in footage seen by Variety. They thought of Canada as this pipe dream, as this place where they could go to be free and to create a better life for their kid.” “They lived in the third world.
On Instagram, he wrote in both English and Chinese “Thanks to all the Marvel fans in China!,” adding in English: “We love you!!”
“What Western news often fails to report on is the absolute groundswell of support that we’ve received from all parts of the world — including people from China!” he wrote, critiquing “polarizing” media narratives that blind us to “the kindness and the empathy” of others.
He concluded: “Whether you seek positivity or toxicity on social media, you will find it.”” />
As China’s box office hits new lows, numerous Chinese industry players and fans have watched bitterly while the film rakes in ticket sales and acclaim abroad, criticizing the hypocrisy of knee-jerk nationalist denunciations that have left China without a piece of the action.
As the days stretch on without any word of a China release for “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” there are increasingly slim odds that residents of the world’s largest film market will get to see Marvel’s first Asian superhero on the big screen.
“‘Shang-Chi’s’ take on Chinese elements is so much better than that of ‘Mulan,’” one wrote. “Although the Chinese accents of the American-born Chinese and Hong Kong stars was a bit hard to get through, they were done with sincerity.”
Many Chinese viewers discussed their appreciation that there had been so much Chinese dialogue.
Unfortunately for Marvel and Chinese exhibitors alike, “Shang-Chi” hits at a time when China-born stars with foreign passports are under fire for profiting in the country while holding foreign citizenship.
Those odds have grown slimmer still after jingoistic social media users unearthed content featuring “Shang-Chi” star Simu Liu that they say “insults China.” In the country’s current political climate, the accusations could potentially lead to the ban of the star, the expensive blockbuster he anchors, and even future franchise films in which his character appears.
He likely didn’t know that two months ago, millions of outraged mainland consumers had called for a boycott of the company for being “anti-China.” Against the backdrop of recent pro-democracy protests, the company had expressed condolences to the family of a Hong Kong employee who stabbed a policed officer and then died by suicide. In the clip, Liu praises a lemon tea drink made by Hong Kong beverage firm Vitasoy.
Anti-China Asian Snacks
While Liu’s references to China’s past poverty are decried as slander, official references are encouraged as part of the narrative of how Communist Party leadership has brought the country prosperity.
For such critics, even a light-hearted GQ video about Liu’s favorite Asian snacks is evidence of his offensive politics.
“Shang-Chi” has so far grossed $146 million in North America and will likely become the first domestic release to cross the $200 million mark since the pandemic began.
More problematic still for nationalists is a 2017 interview in which Liu discusses his family’s immigrant background in a video celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary, which began circulating on Chinese social media last week.
Though Canadian, Liu was born in Harbin and speaks nearly accent-less Mandarin. Seeing him more as one of China’s own, nationalist detractors have been quick to label him a “traitor” to the motherland — accusations that China-born director Chloe Zhao also faced earlier this year.
Pointing out a “Shang-Chi” fight scene prominently featuring a giant digital billboard ad for major Chinese e-commerce company Jingdong, one exasperated blogger asked: “If ‘Shang-Chi’ is insulting China, why don’t you boycott Jingdong next?”
Yet in May, top Chinese officials and state media outlets themselves spoke and wrote extensively about China's past periods of hunger as they eulogized the Chinese scientist Yuan Longping, who famously developed strains of high-yield rice that helped the country overcome years of famine

The actor is often remembered as the always-hilarious "Weekend Update" host and Burt Reynolds' impersonator on "Saturday Night Live." But before he found TV fame he enjoyed a decades-long career as a stand-up comedian, much of which he recounts in his quasi-memoir "Based on a True Story." Norm Macdonald, the comedian known for his dry delivery, died this week after a long battle with cancer.
It's easy to pick a part the truth from the fiction, though. The 2016 book, which became a #1 Best Seller on Amazon following his death, is only partly factual, but entirely hilarious. "Stand-up comedy is a shabby business, made up of shabby fellows like me who cross the country, stay at shabby hotels, and tell jokes they no longer find funny,” he writes in the introduction. And those who watched "SNL" during Macdonald's tenure will likely remember at least some of his "Top 25 Favorite Weekend Update Jokes," which he lists in no particular order. His distinctly self-loathing humor about the tumultuous life of a stand-up comic is definitely true, for example.
Writer Sean O'Neal, when he reviewed the book in 2016, wrote that the last chapter would "make for a fine eulogy," likely because of Macdonald's unusual earnestness in the final pages, in which he describes how lucky he had been to find so much success and adoration in his life.
— Sean O'Neal (@seanoneal) September 14, 2021
"If I am remembered, it will always be by the four years I spent at 'Saturday Night Live' and, maybe even more than that, by the events surrounding my departure from that show. As long as 'SNL' exists, then so do I." "There is the way things are and then the way things appear, and it is the way things appear, even when false, that is often the truest," Macdonald writes.
'Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir' by Norm Macdonald” />
That he "was a hick, born to the barren, rocky soil of the Ottawa Valley," when he was actually born and raised in Quebec City, for example. Or when he plans a hit on the life of fellow comedian Dave Attell because of their shared interest in Sarah Silverman. But some of the best parts of the book are the absurdities he packs in for pure entertainment.
pic.twitter.com/vxLRAd2OeP When I reviewed it, I wrote that they would “make for a fine eulogy”—and I swear I didn’t mean anything by it. But they do. I think about these two and a half pages from Norm Macdonald’s book constantly.

Presenters include Kirsten Dunst, Rebecca Ferguson, director Michael Showalter, Eva Longoria and David Oyelowo.
18. As the 2021 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival wraps up, its third annual Tribute Awards are set to take place on Sept.
The TIFF Tribute Awards ceremony is an annual fundraiser to support both TIFF’s year-round programming and the organization’s core mission to transform the way people see the world through film. The Awards honor the film industry’s outstanding contributors and their achievements, recognizing leading industry members, acting talent, directorial expertise, new talent and a below-the-line artist and creators.
This year's honorees include Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”), director Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog" and “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain”), special Tribute Award Honoree Dionne Warwick (“Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over”) and Variety Artisan Award recipient Ari Wegner (“The Power of the Dog”), among others.
PT/ 7 p.m. ET. The awards will air on CTV and everywhere CTV content can be found in Canada. Variety will be the exclusive streaming partner for the TIFF Tribute awards in all territories outside of Canada. 18 at 4 p.m. The awards will stream on Variety’s Facebook page on Sept.
Variety readers can watch below or visit our Facebook page to watch the awards live.” />
The awards have become a major player in the Academy Awards campaign with many recipients going on to win Oscars later in the season. Previous TIFF Tribute honorees include Academy Award winners Joaquin Phoenix, Meryl Streep, Chloe Zhao, Taika Waititi, Anthony Hopkins, Roger Deakins and many more.

He was 49. funeral home. Freddie Combs, a minister known for singing on Season 2 of "The X-Factor," died Sept. 10, according to a Cocoa, Fla.
TMZ reported that Combs died of kidney failure.” />
She's the closest thing to an angel and a saint that I know," he said at the time. She started caring for me right after we were married in '96, and as my weight rose, more things were required of her. "My wife Kay, she's an incredible woman.
On the show, Cowell and Reid told Combs they would support him if he continued to lose weight.
"When I was bedridden and never came out of the house, my music was never heard," he said. And I know people might think I would never have a chance, and maybe I don't, but I hope the judges will look past my exterior and give a fat boy a chance." "My biggest dream would be to give hope to people who are my size so they can achieve their dreams.
Exercise and a change in diet helped him lose close to 400 pounds by the time he appeared on "The X-Factor," where he was escorted in a wheelchair by his wife Kay, who was his caretaker up until his death. He auditioned in Greensboro, N.C., singing Bette Midler's 1988 song "Wind Beneath My Wings" in front of celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Britney Spears, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato. In his audition episode, which aired in 2012, he also shared his experiences with weight loss. In 2009, at 920 pounds, he had been hospitalized and near death. Though he did not last on "The X-Factor" for long, Combs was a fan favorite.

“And you could feel that he was finding the show moment by moment.” The fundamentals are the same as when Mark Burnett brought the show to air in the year 2000: a remote location, big personalities, physical challenges and psychological warfare. Probst, then also the host of “Rock & Roll Jeopardy” on VH1, was at first a hired gun: Burnett “was our Pied Piper, and we just followed him wherever he went,” Probst says of the first season.
“What words would he use?” Probst wonders, noting that Campbell’s work has, especially recently, helped him to uncover “five stages” of “Survivor.” “It makes it really clear what kind of an advantage or twist would go in stage one, and what kind would go in stage two,” Probst says. “I feel like we just uncovered our format, and it’s brand-new.” Probst invokes Joseph Campbell, the late professor of mythology and a key influence on “Star Wars,” when discussing how the show has evolved.
22. The balance Probst is striking is one in which he’ll be as much a part of the show as ever — including a new feature in which he directly addresses the audience (“I think they’re going to understand this is me saying, ‘We’re in this together,’” he says) — while also letting the competitors run the show, which returns to CBS on Sept. “There’s so much happening in the world right now,” he says, “that if something comes up, let’s talk about it. And we might learn something from it.”
It takes viewers on a voyage to the most alluring and demanding locations on planet Earth, and, once there, reminds them that it’s impossible to outrun the fundamentals of human nature. This season, those expectations are high: The 18 competitors on “Survivor 41,” three of them younger than the 21-year-old show itself, are part of a season more anticipated than any since the show’s earliest days. The appeal in a challenging time was obvious: “Survivor” is at once escapist and deeply relatable. In its months off-air, “Survivor” has become a defining series of the pandemic, with a presence on Netflix and the entire catalog on streamer Paramount Plus fueling an explosion in conversation. While never explicitly about the news of the day, “Survivor” has stayed afloat and on top by learning from what fans respond to — and by confounding expectations.
Usually filmed over 39 days, this season and the next took a mere 26, due to a 14-day quarantine agreement with the Fijian government before the crew entered a bubble of 10 islands. (The network looked at locations around the world and within America before returning to Fiji, the nation that has played host to every “Survivor” season since 2016.) “This is the most relentless game we’ve ever designed,” says Probst, citing the lack of food, scarce rewards and frequent boots. “Elements of the game are so dangerous that it really is one wrong move and you’re out.” Taking White’s advice, Probst and team leaned into pure entertainment, treating, for instance, the truncated length of the season as an opportunity to pack more complication into a shorter time frame. Filming two 39-day seasons consecutively was prohibitive.
“The show’s a top-three fixture, even when we didn’t have original episodes over the past year,” says network president Kelly Kahl, who was at CBS when the series launched in 2000. Little wonder that, just as it’s reliably drawn a core audience on Wednesday nights on CBS, “Survivor” has been a top performer on Paramount Plus. “People were either rewatching or discovering this show.”
These nooks have, over time, included the introduction of powerful hidden idols in Season 11 and the Edge of Extinction, which has allowed exiles to return to the game, a shift Probst compares to “the losers’ bracket in a sports tournament — I always loved that.” (For his part, Kahl addresses critiques of the show’s changes by saying, “To me, the idea that people complain a little about this or whine a little about that, that just tells me they’re engaged”; Probst says that the show typically gets no notes from the network.)
We haven’t laid it out, but the landscape is there.” For the audience and, perhaps, for the host. “I can see Season 50 for sure,” he says. But Probst, having ushered out the series’ first 40 seasons in epic fashion and pondered what lies ahead, is invigorated. “I can already see where the show is going to head in the next five years.
“It’s easy to go out and just say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do the same show — there’s no need to innovate.’ And the show would have probably gotten a little stale.” And Kahl is optimistic that a program that has surfed the wave of culture for two decades will hang on to its audience. “So many hot alternative shows have come and gone that I don’t see any way you can fault Jeff or any of the producers for wanting to help the show feel fresh and contemporary,” he says.
Many who discovered the show on streaming are likely to watch a season contemporaneously for the first time with “41.” “We hope ab­­sence makes the heart grow fonder,” Kahl says. “Survivor” has, in its first 20 years, avoided making that wrong move, transitioning from cultural juggernaut to steady ratings performer to, in its time off, zeitgeist hit once more. “We managed to cobble together a suc­­­cessful season last year with some successful shows [at CBS], but it felt like a piece of us was missing without ‘Survivor.’”
“With everything that was going on, that title wasn’t appropriate — it didn’t fit anymore. But the essence of birthing a new era did.” “The original title two years ago was going to be ‘Dawn of a New Era,’” Jeff Probst, the show’s host and showrunner, recently told Variety.
“Jeff had a little bit more free rein to probe, to be provocative. “Or, maybe, let’s dream — can we get three of these?” Probst’s increasing presence at tribal council helped the show “go a little deeper,” says Kahl. That wasn’t there from the beginning.” While ratings came closer to earth in subsequent iterations, “Survivor” ventured into space occupied by shows like “60 Minutes” and “Saturday Night Live”: formats that have the durability, over decades, to resist falling out of fashion. Success on that scale seemed difficult to replicate, and Kahl dreamed of having even one more hit season: “We said to ourselves at that point, ‘God, wouldn’t it be great if we could get two?’” Kahl reminisces. That first season of “Survivor” be­came a part of television lore, with a finale (won, in a shock by Y2K standards, by openly gay corporate trainer Richard Hatch) that brought in some 50 million viewers.
The 41st season of “Survivor” was always going to be different. But after COVID and new attention on the show during the pandemic, it’s been reimagined.
What Probst describes is a stripped-down game — one that he says goes “back to the very basic idea of a group of strangers, forced to rely on each other to survive while voting each other out.” The game is the one the contestants create, without the top-down divisions by social class, generation, gameplay experience and even race: This is to be “Survivor 41,” with no subtitle and no stated theme. Gone, too, for the foreseeable future, are returning competitors from the show’s first 20 years. Says Probst: “For right now, where ‘Survivor’ needs to go is with fresh faces, fresh voices, players who are of the moment, players who can let us watch them and learn.”
“We wanted to look at how that would change things when you had to earn everything, and then you could buy what you needed.” Probst called his friend, the writer-director and former “Survivor” competitor Mike White, while the latter was in production on “The White Lotus.” In Probst’s telling, White told him, “I totally trust you, but I do have one question: Do you think it sounds fun?” Having stripped away the excesses that had built up around “Survivor” on the way to Season 40, the host and produ­­­cer had an early idea for the reinvention of Season 41. “Money would enter the society,” Probst says. Capitalism — already a barely subtextual theme of the series — would become the main story.
That relevance requires constant upkeep. “That’s a valid approach — it’s just never appealed to me as a storyteller. “There’s an argument to be made that with a format like ‘Survivor,’ you don’t need to change anything,” Probst says. I like exploring the nooks and crannies within the creative sandbox of ‘Survivor.’”
“But to his credit, he’s so invested in the show; for him, if he was going to be involved in the show, he wants to keep it relevant.” “The easiest thing in the world for Jeff Probst would be to helicopter in, cash a check and go home at the end of each cycle,” says Kahl. But Probst, who became an exec producer in 2010 and sole showrunner the following year, is unconcerned. Which might make alteration seem risky.
“Our schedule is pretty relentless,” he says, “so there isn’t really a lot of time without the pressure of a ticking clock to say, ‘Let me pour one more cup of coffee and look at this again.’” In the wake of the blowout spring 2020 “Winners at War” season — featuring 20 former champions — Probst was eager to find a new gear. Then came what he calls “the unexpected gift of the quarantine”: A stretch of time during which he was able to sit and think.
Let’s go do it again.”” /> “I think we are all ready for a new start,” he says. “Not because the past wasn’t great, but precisely because it was so great. As for Probst, the rejiggered “Survivor” represents a rebirth of sorts.

Along with Patinkin, the series stars Violett Beane as Imogene, Lauren Patten as Anna,  Hugo Diego Garcia as Jules, Angela Zhou as Teddy, and Rahul Kohli as Sunil.
Especially when sailing the Mediterranean on an ocean liner filled with the wealthy and powerful. Everyone on board is hiding something… but is one of them a killer? That’s what the World’s Once Greatest Detective, Rufus Cotesworth (Patinkin), and his protégée aim to discover. The series asks the question: How do you solve a murder in a post-fact world?
McAdams is repped by UTA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman. Weiss is repped by WME. He is repped by ICM and Echo Lake Entertainment. Webb is repped by CAA and Jamie Feldman.” />
He previously won the Emmy for best actor in a drama for his role on "Chicago Hope." His film credits include "The Princess Bride," "Alien Nation," and "Dick Tracy." Patinkin most recently appeared as a main cast member on Season 5 of "The Good Fight" on Paramount Plus. He is also known for his Emmy-nominated role on the Showtime drama "Homeland," which ended its run at the premium cabler in 2020 after eight seasons.
Mandy Patinkin will star in the detective drama "Career Opportunities in Murder and Mayhem," which has been ordered to pilot at Hulu.
The series hails from writers Mike Weiss and Heidi Cole McAdams, who will also serve as executive producers and co-showrunners. Marc Webb will direct the pilot and executive produce under his Black Lamb banner. ABC Signature is the studio, with Webb being under an overall deal there.

Filmmakers and stars Elizabeth Banks and David Wain of "Wet Hot American Summer" are reuniting for a new movie musical at Amazon Studios.
Upcoming film titles are "Invisible Woman," "The Grace Year," "Science Fair," "The Paperpag Princess," "Uncanny Valley," "The Magic School Bus," and "Cocaine Bear." On the television side, Brownstone’s slate includes Season 3 of the critically acclaimed series "Shrill" at Hulu; "Red Queen" at Peacock; "Over My Dead Body" at HBO Max; and the adult comedy animated series "Bedrock" at Fox.
After a crash landing leaves the passengers and crew of a commercial flight stranded for three months, the film follows members of this makeshift community who begin to put together a production of a Shakespearean play to keep themselves occupied, despite their captain trying to focus them on getting rescued.
Reino and McKenna’s credits include the critically acclaimed podcast "Off Book," "Party Over Here" (a Fox sketch show produced by The Lonely Island) and "Rick & Morty." They were listed as one of Vulture’s “Comedians You Should and Will Know” and released their first full-length musical comedy album "The Calendar Album"  in 2019.
Partners in include  Universal, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, Fox, Freeform, HBO Max, Netflix, Hulu, and Peacock. Banks and Handelman are currently engaged in a first-look film deal at Universal, and count a slate that includes multiple film, television and digital collaborations across various networks and studios.
Wain wrote the script with Zach Reino and Jess McKenna. Alison Small is executive producing. Wain is directing the project, titled "Where the Fore Are We?", and will produce with Banks and partner Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions.
Reino is represented by WME, Omnipop Talent Group, and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis. McKenna is represented by WME, Omnipop Talent Group, Guinivan PR, and Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.” />
Wain is represented by WME, Artists First, Kovert, and Goodman Genow. Banks and Brownstone Productions are represented by UTA, Untitled Entertainment, Relevant, and Ziffren Brittenham.

And then Jennifer Grey, practically a stranger to Blair, got in touch to say she was coming over, and told Blair about a treatment for autoimmune diseases out of Northwestern University that she’d heard about from a friend. “And I — like a lot of people — was just blowing it off.” But after seeing the video, he thought, “Oh fuck, something’s up.” Blair says actor Elizabeth Berkley, “who I had known from Michigan through my life,” insisted she see her neurologist brother — who diagnosed her with MS. Blair initially said “not a chance,” thinking “we’ll figure it out.” “Stuff was going wrong,” Nankin remembers.
For those who love Blair — and there are a lot of them — whether she acts again or writes a book or simply devotes herself to helping others, what happens next isn’t a concern: That there is a next is what matters.
She’s changing her clothes, Ben is putting the directions on her phone and Pippa the dog doesn’t like all the hurrying. Suddenly, Blair realizes the time, and panics — she’s going to be late to meet up with “Crip Camp” director James Lebrecht, who’s staying downtown.
Yet Blair herself is less sure about that “no” right now — though she remains concerned that she can’t match take after take, and doesn’t want to “fuck up the day.”
“I’m not someone that’s been nagged by ambition.” “Yes, if there’s the right thing — I’m not going to try and insinuate myself in somewhere,” Blair says, then makes a joke.
“The film is about the human spirit,” Fleit says. And can I live the fullest possible life that I can?’ Can I help others while I’m here? “It’s about ‘I’ve been born into this body; this is my life. Can I accept myself? Can I embrace myself? Fleit makes it clear that Blair — very much the subject of the movie, and not a producer — gave her free rein. The director also has an autoimmune disorder, alopecia universalis, and related to Blair immediately.
While making those comparisons, Blair was not generous to herself. “I was a loving person, but yeah: miserable, a bit sharp, a bit snarky, a bit angry that I had to get up and do things when I just chronically felt unwell.” “I was chronically a miserable person,” she says with a dry laugh.
Blair’s story is now the subject of the film “Introducing, Selma Blair,” directed by Rachel Fleit in her feature debut. 15, and will begin streaming on Discovery Plus on Oct. The documentary revolves around the lead-up to and aftermath of Blair getting a stem cell transplant — a radical treatment for MS — in Chicago in the summer of 2019. 21. “Introducing, Selma Blair” drew rave reviews when it premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in March, having already been scooped up by Discovery Plus, the nascent streamer. It will get a limited theatrical release from Strand on Oct.
And I saw that most human beings who are on this planet can relate, whether or not they have MS.” “I saw myself in Selma.
“I was already kind of a worn-down, old Jewish soul,” Blair says about relating to Fisher, “and she was just a breath of fresh air.” “I’m having a party! She grew close with Fisher, to whom she looked as a mother figure. In “Cruel Intentions,” Blair was 26 while playing 14-year-old Cecile Caldwell, a wide-eyed, preyed-upon ditz who eventually gets her revenge. In her 20s and 30s, Blair was working all the time, toggling between mainstream studio films and indies, such as Todd Solondz’s 2002 provocation “Storytelling.” She became a Hollywood fixture, and was frequently featured on magazine covers throughout the 2000s. You’re so cute! Come, it’s my birthday!” she imitates Fisher saying to her when they first met, affecting a scratchy screech.
“Yet there were also the people that were just tuned in to wanting to help, and —” she stops to compose herself. With illness, especially with autoimmune diseases, there are countless doubters and haters telling you you’re making it up — and Blair had grown used to that from people commenting on her Instagram. “That broke my heart open, and changed me forever.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, and the long-term effects of a disease that’s afflicted tens of millions of Americans still unknown, Blair’s voice is coming at an essential moment. “Introducing, Selma Blair” reveals that Blair is once again in the middle of a crucial cultural conversation — one about disabled people, and the need to understand chronic pain and illness.
She echoes those thoughts in person too. “And I was always asking, ‘Is there a part for a corpse?’ Like, that’s what I felt I could play.” “All I could give is what I could give,” she says. In the film, Blair is self-deprecating about her career in a way that’s rare in Hollywood — saying she knew she was never a star, and didn’t try that hard.
According to Nankin, their immediate bond was key: “If we hadn’t met Rachel at that time, I don’t know that anything would have ever gotten made. Because it’s not like we were going to do it regardless.”
to be happy.”
At times in the hospital, Blair was at such risk of infection — stem cell transplants have a high mortality rate — that the vérité documentary uses her self-taped video diaries, because no one could enter her room for fear of endangering her life. “Introducing, Selma Blair” is the opposite of a vanity project, and rarely have the stakes been so high in a celebrity documentary. Intensive chemotherapy brings Blair’s immune system down to 1%, after which stem cells that have been harvested from her body are transplanted back, rebuilding her immune system from scratch. The stem cell transplant procedure, which takes two months, is brutal — and the film isn’t an easy watch.
So she told Grey she was open to it, and Grey helped get Blair into the program. But Blair kept getting worse, and she wasn’t responding well to the medications that typically treat MS.
I really didn’t — until my diagnosis.” I really didn’t know joy. She thinks about it more. “I am at peace. “Sometimes,” she says. Does she still feel that way today? At the end of the movie, Blair says she’s at peace: finally, after a life of pain and turmoil.
Thankfully, the procedure worked. Blair, now 49, is in remission, meaning no new lesions have formed in her brain or on her spinal cord since the transplant more than two years ago.
“And I knew very early on that this was a vérité film, and that I just needed to keep showing up, and holding the space for this woman.” Fleit and Blair met over FaceTime that month. “She’s disarming and charming and lovely and kind and dear,” Fleit says.
(Though Toback’s accusers number in the hundreds, he has always denied the allegations, and did again to Variety when reached last week.) A few days later, she spoke out by name in a first-person account published by Vanity Fair. Blair has been in the public eye for a generation, propelled into fame during the late ’90s/early 2000s teen boom in popular culture. When audiences watch “Introducing, Selma Blair,” they’ll not only bear witness to Blair’s medical journey, but get to know her as a person — as a mother, a daughter, a friend and someone who can crack a joke even in her most dire circumstances. She was a significant figure in the resurgent #MeToo explosion in fall 2017 as well, after coming forward with her story about James Toback: Blair was a voice in a Los Angeles Times story about Toback, alleging anonymously that the director had sexually assaulted her in the late ’90s.
Fleit started production in May 2019, shortly before Blair left for Chicago. That’s very much like living with an autoimmune disease.” She completed filming during COVID, during which Fleit feels like the world was experiencing what Blair does every day: “We have no idea what’s going to happen, do we?
Styling: Elizabeth Stewart/The Wall Group; Makeup: Rachel Goodwin/A Frame Agency; Hair: Kevin Ryan/Art and Commerce; Look 1, (Tight portrait): Shirt: Saint Laurent; Look 2, (Seated portrait): Shirt and pants: Chloe/Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills; Shoes: Neil J. Rodgers” />
“If I could have acknowledged that there was something real — a label that people understood — it would have just helped me emotionally,” she says. “If I could have found this label and given myself some solace that I was actually a fucking trouper, I would have been much easier on myself.”
“These guys took a chance on a director whose biggest credit was a film about gefilte fish,” Fleit says with a laugh. Once she made the decision to undergo the treatment, Blair thought it should be documented, even if only for Arthur to watch later. At the time, Bird was on vacation with Fleit in Costa Rica, and facilitated the introduction; Fleit had directed three short documentaries, and was looking to do more. In March 2019, Nankin asked photographer Cass Bird, who had just shot Blair for Vanity Fair, whether she had any ideas for a director.
He and Blair met with producer Mickey Liddell — Nankin’s former roommate — and secured funding for the project from Liddell’s LD Entertainment.
Blair just thought it was normal, that everyone feels these things — that to have a body means to tolerate pain. She had, and still has, ceaseless muscular-skeletal pain, and muscle contractions called dystonia in her neck that affect her speech. Selma Blair has been in pain her entire life, enduring bladder surgeries during her suburban Michigan childhood, getting unnecessary root canals as an adult and periodically even losing her vision.
And so is the hope she’s found in the past few years.
“I want her As for what he wants for Blair, it sounds simple — though it’s not. Nankin, who met Blair during “Cruel Intentions,” says he’ll be by her side, whatever happens. “I want her to feel good!” he exclaims.
“She is going to help millions of people,” Fleit says. “With the film, I know people will see themselves, and find relief in that.”
“I might not be comfortable once people see it. Because then you’re considering people’s reactions — or their sense of your drama or your personality or your chronic illness or whatever.”
“And now I just want to help other people feel better.”
This is actually still unfolding.” Though the movie undoubtedly has a moving ending, and feels complete — Fleit finished filming in June 2020 and locked picture on New Year’s Eve — its story continues in the form of Blair’s actual life. Troy Nankin, her close friend and manager, who produced “Introducing, Selma Blair,” puts it this way: “She’s still in the movie.
How Blair got to an emergent place with her always compromised health unfolds poignantly in “Introducing, Selma Blair.” Her already acute symptoms worsened after she gave birth to her son, Arthur, in 2011. “I really couldn’t move,” she recalls. “The pain was so intense in every joint, in my hip, everything.” Her self-hatred spiked as well, with her interior narrative, she says, sounding something like this: How am I such a weak lazy-ass that I can’t handle what every mother does?
I felt like I had a friend. “Isn’t that terrible? About being on camera, even at her most vulnerable, Blair says in a near shout: “Oh God, I loved it!” She stops to laugh.
“When I was editing the film,” Fleit says, “I was like, ‘Wow, if Selma really allows us to show her in this state, we have something extraordinary.’ And she did.”
Now that Blair has a future, she chooses to see her stem cell transplant — aided by all the nurses and hospital staffers who helped her — as a “rebirth.”
What’s unfolding is that Blair is making gains, certainly, but she’s still in a lot of pain, falls sometimes and continues to have dystonic moments when she talks. And that’s fine; I’m lucky.” “You go into it thinking, ‘Oh, it’s going to be a cure.’ But what is cure?” Blair says. “It’s just a period of acceptance that I’m changed.
“This is a gratitude thing, and it doesn’t mean you’re going to always be comfortable.” You’re here,” she says. “You made it.
“And I spent so long trying to kill myself, or numb myself, or check out — or figure out how to be alive by being half dead. “We have a long time to be dead,” Blair says early in the film.
In “Introducing, Selma Blair,” Fleit asks Blair about acting again, and she says no. Director Solondz, who worked with Blair in “Storytelling” and cast her as the same character in 2011’s “Dark Horse,” says that decision would be “a loss to movies.” But as a friend, Solondz understands: “I think there are more important things — like her health and her family and her well-being.”
Blair rose to stardom in such movies as “Cruel Intentions” (1999), “Legally Blonde” (2001) and “Hellboy” (2004). But in August 2018, after a lifetime of baffling afflictions, she finally got a diagnosis at age 46: She had multiple sclerosis. Even as she suffered, she worked prolifically. While that turn of events, which she announced publicly that October, would be devastating to most people, for Blair, it was a relief.
Nankin texted earlier to say she’d left the gate open, and to warn of spotty cell service. To enter Blair’s house in a woodsy part of Studio City is to join her menagerie. Blair’s hair — which Arthur shaved before her chemo treatments began, as seen in “Introducing, Selma Blair” — is now short and blond. When she plays with it as she talks, it sometimes stays in a spike of its own volition. Nankin’s assistant, Ben, who’s minding Arthur, brings in unsolicited iced coffees from the nearby Alfred. And Blair puts herself in the chair she thinks she’ll feel most comfortable in, while also pointing out that the Christmas tree to her left is in honor of her friend Carrie Fisher, who she says kept Christmas decorations up all year long. The housekeeper, Mercedes, is vacuuming, and waves hello. Arthur, Blair’s 10-year-old son with ex-boyfriend Jason Bleick, floats in and out of the interview, playing with a manual balloon pump, and sometimes attaching it to parts of his mom’s body.
“I’d compare myself to people,” Blair says. “I didn’t understand people didn’t hurt every day.” She pauses. “I’ve hurt since I can remember.”
So you’re gonna probably want to replace that.’” In fact, after screening a late cut of the documentary, Blair had only one note for Fleit: “She said, ‘Rachel, that last shot at the end in the archival footage is actually my aunt, not my mom.
“Our abilities are fleeting, and I think that goes for all people,” Blair says as she’s rushing to leave. “We all just need to calm the fuck down and stop judging everyone’s process, because it doesn’t help.”
How Blair was finally diagnosed — and then got the stem cell procedure — is what she calls a “loving miracle in this Hollywood community.” After years of mysterious symptoms, which she’d sometimes write about on Instagram, her leg gave out while she was walking in a Christian Siriano show in February 2018. Blair says she knew that wasn’t psychosomatic, because she was so happy to be there: “I’m on the catwalk and wanting to be the shit — I love this moment!” A few months later, her hands basically stopped working, which she chronicled in a June 2018 video she sent to Nankin as she attempted to write him a note.