Friday, August 18, 2017

Michael Cera vs Ansel Elgort (Shades of Geek)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ansel Elgort: Billionaire Boys Club, Thief video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Twin Peaks' time loop, Baby Driver's ending

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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