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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 10, “Social Media Kings Into Queens”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 10, “Social Media Kings Into Queens”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 10, “Social Media Kings Into Queens”

We need to talk about Vanjie. Specifically, we need to talk about what Drag Race's accelerated milking of a meme for every last drop its worth says about this season's competition as a whole. When Vanessa Vanjie Mateo became the first eliminated queen, she claimed a few extra seconds on stage before asserting her worth in the only way she knew how: by dropping her own name thrice with the wounded delicacy of a Tennessee Williams heroine—“Miss Vanjie…Miss Vanjie…Miss…Vanjie…”—before then retreating backward up the runway while glaring directly at the judge's table.

The moment was fierce and doleful—a fertile field for camp deification. The space Vanjie cleared around herself in that moment was instantly recognized by RuPaul and the producers; a behind-the-scenes clip showing Michelle Visage bringing Ru to tears by merely invoking Vanjie's name was included right off the top of the second episode. And from that point on, the ghost of Vanjie never truly left the show. From the workroom to the judges' critiques to deliberations to Untucked, echoes of “Vanjie” have never been few and far between, like some gay offshoot of the game Marco Polo.

Azealia Banks Pays Homage to Janet Jackson in “Anna Wintour” Music Video

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Azealia Banks Pays Homage to Janet Jackson in “Anna Wintour” Music Video
Azealia Banks Pays Homage to Janet Jackson in “Anna Wintour” Music Video

Yes, those really are Azealia Banks's nipples. At least according to the New York singer-rapper-lightning-rod's Twitter. The music video for Banks's single “Anna Wintour,” from her forthcoming album Fantasea II, is already going viral, but the clip is striking not just because of the artist's ample bosom.

Directed by Matt Sukkar, “Anna Wintour” was filmed in an empty warehouse using understated faux-natural lighting. Shots of a scantily clad Banks strutting on a metal catwalk, posing in a full-length mirror, and striking a pose in front of a backlit gate pay homage to Janet Jackson's iconic video for her 1987 single “The Pleasure Principle.”

Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, and DJ Khaled Get Lit in “Dinero” Music Video

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Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, and DJ Khaled Get Lit in “Dinero” Music Video
Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, and DJ Khaled Get Lit in “Dinero” Music Video

Two decades after the late-'90s Latin-pop wave that helped make Jennifer Lopez a household name, the genre has become a fully integrated force in mainstream pop. Lopez's new bilingual single, “Dinero,” smartly leverages both the singer's enduring Spanish-language audience and the current Latin-pop craze. Produced by DJ Khaled, the track features J. Lo alternately singing over a tropical rhythm and rapping atop a trap beat—sometimes both—while fellow Bronx upstart Cardi B boasts of their borough-based bona fides.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

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Cannes Film Review: Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Eva Husson's Girls of the Sun is a politically righteous and timely film, with a strong lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as Bahar, the leader of an all-female peshmerga fighter battalion bravely fighting ISIS in Kurdistan. But the film also has the dramatic finesse of a sledgehammer: Its most emotionally charged moments buckle under the weight of a ceaseless and manipulative score, and its disorganized and distracting flashback structure tries to contextualize the horrors and humiliations endured by Bahar but does so at the expense of narrative momentum.

Look past the film's baggy structure and clumsy dialogue and there's a good deal of tough, spatially coherent action direction on display. As Husson is adept at crafting artfully abstracted images in isolated moments, it's easy to imagine the more sturdy, brisk, and visually compelling film Girls of the Sun might have been had at least 40 minutes been shaved from its running time.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Winner Predictions

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Cannes Film Festival 2018: Winner Predictions
Cannes Film Festival 2018: Winner Predictions

Between Cate Blanchett being appointed to head the largely female jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival and the much-publicized march of 82 women down the red carpet at the start of the festival (representing the mere 82 women directors in 71 years who've competed for the Palme d'Or), many have come to predict that one of the three female filmmakers in competition this year would take the top prize. This article won't diverge from that prediction, and of the three possibilities, Alice Rohwacher's Happy As Lazzaro still seems like the safest bet, even with reports coming in that Blanchett teared up at the world premiere of Nadine Labaki's Capernaum.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Lee Chang-dong’s Burning

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Cannes Film Review: Burning

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Burning

South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong works slowly: In over 20 years, he's directed just six films, each of which unfold patiently, sprawling out over two-plus hours and carefully tracking character development in narratives that occasionally proceed in real time. Lee tends to define his characters in relation to the specific temporal concepts that he structures his films around, such as the suicidal businessman from 2000's Peppermint Candy, whose story is told in a reverse chronology, or the sixtysomething woman with encroaching Alzheimer's disease in 2010's Poetry, whose memories of the past slowly slip away. But Burning feels like the director's most reflexive comment on the dramatic possibilities of his favored narrative form.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 9, “Breastworld”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 9, “Breastworld”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 9, “Breastworld”

The loss of The Vixen last week arguably robbed season 10 of RuPaul's Drag Race of its one undeniable narrative thrust, forcing the show's cast to go from loudly debating the most outspoken queen of the pack to quietly tiptoeing around the doggedly silent elephant in the room. Though The Vixen's elimination restored oxygen to the workroom, “Breastworld” sees most of the remaining hunties, well, hunting for ways to kick-start their own storylines, especially as the competition has rounded the clubhouse turn.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Gaspar Noé’s Climax

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Cannes Film Review: Climax

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Climax

French provocateur Gaspar Noé's Climax has been met with enthusiasm at this year's Cannes—even from those who usually have little tolerance for the psychedelic horror-core aesthetic he's been dredging since at least 2002's Irréversible. Maybe that's because the film, at an eminently approachable 95 minutes, aspires to a relatively more structured iteration of Noé's anarchic chaos. It even has a fairly straightforward concept: Twenty dancers—played by 19 non-actors plus Algerian actress and model Sofia Boutella—gather in a performance space, dance, chat cattily among each other, then drink some LSD-spiked punch and descend into raving, violent madness.

The conceit here is that even when Climax's characters are subjected to the full-tilt crucible promised by the film's premise, their bodies' convulsions remain dance-like. But broad concerns like concept and conceit have never really been Noé's problem, and neither really has his style—which has always incorporated some form of choreography, and used vivid colors and a restless camera with inarguably visceral impact. What Noé's films have so rarely evinced—and what Climax mostly certainly lacks—is the skill, imagination, and intelligence to develop concepts and conceits, to connect them with ideas that could keep the director's vision from wearing itself out.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Yomeddine, Leto, & Sorry Angel

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Cannes Film Review: Yomeddine, Leto, & Sorry Angel

mk2 Films

Cannes Film Review: Yomeddine, Leto, & Sorry Angel

Egyptian-born NYU graduate Abu Bakr Shawky's Yomeddine (or Judgment Day), the first debut feature to play in competition at the Cannes Film Festival since Son of Saul in 2015, is a different kind of exploitation film than László Nemes's Oscar winner. It's for anyone who's ever looked at a person who suffered through a life-threatening illness and thought to themselves, “There should really be a quirky Sundance-style dramedy made about this.”

A road-trip movie for sympathy fascists, Yomeddine is built around non-actor Rady Gamal, a survivor of leprosy whom Shawky met while making a documentary short on a leper colony. Gamal plays Beshey, a junk collector and recent widower who, after linking up with a Nubian orphan boy, Obama (Ahmed Abdelhafiz), sets off to find the father who abandoned him as a child. The misfits get mixed up with thieves, religious fanatics, inept bureaucracies, apathetic police officers, and a trio of beggars with their own physical deformities, most of who serve to further stack the deck against them.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap Season 10, Episode 8, “The Unauthorized Rusical”

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RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 8, “The Unauthorized Rusical”

VH1

RuPaul’s Drag Race Recap: Season 10, Episode 8, “The Unauthorized Rusical”

The only RuPaul's Drag Race challenge more cringe-worthy than the lip-sync production number—which this season, in case your brain has blessedly blocked it from all memory, was the extended pharmaceutical commercial from hell—is the one that forces the queens to show off their vocal chops. So what better way to double our fun than to combine the toughest aspects of both of them, with the added difficulty factor of celebrity impersonation?