1. “When the People Cheer.” Questlove on how hip-hop failed black America.
“I want to start with a statement: Hip-hop has taken over black music. At some level, this is a complex argument, with many outer rings, but it has a simple, indisputable core. Look at the music charts, or think of as many pop artists as you can, and see how many of the black ones aren’t part of hip-hop. There aren’t many hip-hop performers at the top of the charts lately: You have perennial winners like Jay Z, Kanye West, and Drake, along with newcomers like Kendrick Lamar, and that’s about it. Among women, it’s a little bit more complicated, but only a little bit. The two biggest stars, Beyoncé and Rihanna, are considered pop (or is that pop-soul), but what does that mean anymore? In their case, it means that they’re offering a variation on hip-hop that’s reinforced by their associations with the genre’s biggest stars: Beyoncé with Jay Z, of course, and Rihanna with everyone from Drake to A Rocky to Eminem.”
2. “Austrian Director Michael Glawogger Dies During African Shoot.” The director of Slumming and Whores’ Glory, who was 54, died in Liberia of Malaria.
“Acclaimed Austrian director Michael Glawogger, famed for his hard-hitting documentaries on the lives of the desperate poor, has died while on a shoot in Africa. Glawogger, whose work includes his documentary trilogy into the world of work: Workingman’s Death, Megacities, Whores’ Glory as well as dramas such as Slumming and Kill Daddy Good Night apparently died in Liberia after contracting Malaria. Glawogger had been in Africa gathering material for a new project. ’With horror and great dismay we have received the news of the sudden death of Michael Glawogger,’ industry association Film and Music Austria reported on its website Wednesday. The 54-year-old director last worked on the 3D architectural documentary series Cathedrals of Culture, alongside such luminaries as Robert Redford and Wim Wenders. In Glawogger’s segment, he examined the life and history of Russia’s National Library. Cathedrals of Culture premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.”
3. “Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein on the indispensability of This Is Spinal Tap.” The stars of Portlandia on the Rob Reiner classic.
“I guess the most factual thing I could say about it is that it’s a fake documentary—or ’mockumentary’—and it’s one of the first of its kind, although I guess Albert Brooks was also doing stuff like that. But it essentially created this template for a lot of contemporary humor, as far as mockumentaries and talking to the camera, and it’s so…real. There’s sort of an underlying truth and a…schadenfreude, I guess? [Laughs.] I don’t know if that’s the right word, but I feel like that’s what a lot of other things, like The Office, are about too, where, as an audience member, you feel a small sense of joy watching these other people fall apart, and at the same time you have vicarious embarrassment. I think that’s the crux of a lot of contemporary humor, and I feel like it all started with this film.”
4. “Aaron Sorkin Wants To Apologize To Everyone About The Newsroom.” “I think you and I got off on the wrong foot with The Newsroom and I apologize and I’d like to start over,” the creator told an audience at a Tribeca Film Festival event on Monday.
“’I’m going to let you all stand in for everyone in the world, if you don’t mind. I think you and I got off on the wrong foot with The Newsroom and I apologize and I’d like to start over,’ Sorkin told the audience after interviewer (and former President Obama speech writer) Jon Favreau asked about what he’s learned about the media doing the series. ’I think that there’s been a terrible misunderstanding. I did not set the show in the recent past in order to show the pros how it should have been done. That was and remains the furthest thing from my mind. I set the show in the recent past because I didn’t want to make up fake news. It was going to be weird if the world that these people were living in did not in any way resemble the world that you were living in…Also, I wanted the option of having a terrific dynamic that you can get when the audience knows more than the characters do…So, I wasn’t trying to and I’m not capable of teaching a professional journalist a lesson. That wasn’t my intent and it’s never my intent to teach you a lesson or try to persuade you or anything.”
5. ”Mean Girls star Daniel Franzese writes moving coming out letter to his character Damian.” Franzese, who played openly gay Damian in the film, which came out 10 years ago this month, asked Indiewire to share his touching coming-out letter.
“I had the perfect opportunity in 2004 to let people know the REAL Daniel Franzese. Now in 2014—ten years later—looking back, it took YOU to teach me how to be proud of myself again. It’s okay if no one wants to sit at the table with the ’art freaks.’ Being a queer artist is one of my favorite things about myself. I have always been different and that’s rad. People have always asked if I was really gay? While my reps usually lied to protect me. My friends and family all knew the truth but now it’s time everyone does. Perhaps this will help someone else. I had to remind myself that my parents named me Daniel because it means ’God is my judge’ So, I’m not afraid anymore. Of Hollywood, the closet or mean girls. Thank you for that, Damian. (And Tina.) “
Video of the Day: Stephen Colbert pays David Letterman a visti:
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