The first single from Miley Cyrus’s new album, “Malibu,” sparked a flurry of think pieces that both doubled down on the criticism that the singer has received over the years for her cultural appropriation of hip-hop signifiers while also rebuking her for abandoning it. That Miley adopted a more mellow pop-rock sound and traded grillz and twerking for a more squeaky-clean image and frolicking in a country meadow, respectively, was seen as proof that hip-hop was nothing more than a costume.
Miley Cyrus (#1–10 of 22)
After two singles highlighting the cardiovascular half of Madonna’s Rebel Heart project, the singer is unleashing her so-called rebellious side for the album’s third single, “Bitch I’m Madonna.” The first glimpse of the star-studded new music video for the track, inspired by a high-octane performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, came courtesy of the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, who posted a behind-the-scenes clip from the shoot last month on Instagram. Coyne wasn’t the only celeb on set though—but he’s certainly the weirdest. Despite the song’s title, the clip, which premiered exclusively on Tidal this morning, makes room for a litany of guests, including Chris Rock, Rita Ora, Diplo (who produced the track), fashion designer Alexander Wang, and the Queen of Pop’s two sons, Rocco and David. Other cameos—like a pose-striking Beyoncé, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and Miley Cyrus—were beamed in via green-screen, giving the video a slapdash quality that’s rare for the music video pioneer. The apparent moral of the story? We are all Madonna. So grab your grillz and start humping the nearest wall.
1. “Richard Attenborough R.I.P.” The acclaimed actor-director dies at 90.
“Acclaimed actor and Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough, whose film career on both sides of the camera spanned 60 years, has died. He was 90. The actor’s son, Michael Attenborough told the BBC that his father died Sunday. He had been in poor health for some time. Prime Minister David Cameron issued a statement calling Attenborough ’one of the greats of cinema.’ ’His acting in Brighton Rock was brilliant, his directing of Gandhi was stunning,’ Cameron said. Ben Kingsley, who shot to global fame for his performance as Mahatma Gandhi, recalled Attenborough’s passionate 20 year struggle to bring Gandhi’s story to the big screen. The film won eight Oscars, including best picture, best director for Attenborough and best actor for Kingsley. ’He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him,’ said Kingsley. ’I along with millions of others whom he touched through his life and work will miss him dearly.’”
1. “Israeli filmmakers call for ceasefire.” A group of Israeli film-makers took a stand against the current political conflict today at an emotional press conference at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
“We, the undersigned, Israeli directors whose films participate in the Jerusalem Film Festival, believe that in these violent days, it is impossible to talk only about cinema while ignoring the killing and horrifying events around us. We are scared too. Some of us are parents. Our children are terrified of the code red sirens and of the thundering sounds of warfare. We do not seek revenge and do not believe in a military solution; this has proven futile in the past. Children in Gaza do not enjoy the protection of the Iron Dome systems. They have no residential secured spaces, and no sirens. hildren living in Gaza today are our partners in peace tomorrow. The killing and horror we inflict only push any diplomatic solution further away.”
The last vestige of Avril Lavigne’s “punk” bona fides, however thinly veiled and market-tested they were in the first place, evaporated the day she released the bubble-gum cheerleader anthem “Girlfriend” back in 2007. So the singer’s de-evolution into total parody on the techno-punk nightmare “Hello Kitty,” the latest single from her album Avril Lavigne, isn’t necessarily worth lamenting on its own, dubstep-marred (de)merits. It’s a Miley Cyrus world, after all; the rest of us are just living in it.
The music video for “Adore You,” the third single from Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz, appeared a day earlier than planned, prompting the pop singer to publicly call out the “fuck face” who leaked the clip on Christmas Day. The video for the tasteful, string-laden midtempo ballad finds Cyrus frolicking in flesh-colored panties, biting herself, stroking her belly, rubbing her lips, licking her hand, slipping her fingers between her legs, sucking her thumb, peeking out behind sheer fabric straight out of a Playboy video, and videotaping the whole exhibition like a sex tape. Part of a new generation of female pop stars whose so-called sexual agency seems more like auto-objectification (see Rihanna’s recent video for “Pour It Up”), Cyrus continues to mold herself in the image of the straight-male porn fantasy, complete with infantilism. Check it out below!
For a medium that’s supposed to have become irrelevant years ago, the music video was surprisingly central to the way we thought about music in 2013—for better and for worse. This was the year that clips for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” spawned 1,000 think pieces, the year that we ran around our cities trying to find a place to watch Kanye West project his face onto the side of a building. It was the year that artists from Arcade Fire to Bob Dylan continued to push the boundaries of what a music video can be, and it ended with the surprise, Internet-breaking release of Beyoncé’s self-titled “visual album,” which included a whopping 17 videos. If it’s all not quite enough to declare a new golden age, it’s certainly cause to be eager for what lies ahead.
Earlier this week, MTV posted an oddly optimistic take on the underwhelming performance of Lady Gaga’s new album, Artpop, which, though it debuted at #1 with a respectable 258,000 copies, not only scanned 75% less than 2011’s Born This Way did in its first week, but posted smaller opening numbers than both Katy Perry’s Prism and Miley Cyrus’s Bangerz. Writing for MTV, which has little business reporting on music these days to begin with, Gil Kaufman rightly suggests that touring is where the real money is in 2013, but claims that Gaga is “a born performer with a killer stage show” and is “capable of selling out arenas across the globe.” It remains to be seen whether Gaga is the global touring juggernaut Kaufman and others claim: The Born This Way Ball did well in most markets, but tickets sold for half price in South America, and the then-26-year-old was forced to cash in her insurance policy in February and cancel the remaining 21 shows of the tour reportedly due to a hip injury.
Ukraine’s Molodist film festival is targeted by anti-LGBT protesters.
FAA to allow airlines to expand use of personal electronics.
Red Sox rout Cardinals to win World Series.
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Oscar Hijuelos, who won a Pulitzer for tale of Cuban-American life, dies at 62.
Banksy sets up Central Park stall selling original stencils worth $30,000 disguised as knock-offs.
Spend 154 minutes with Graydon Carter.
Sufjan Stevens pens open letter to Miley Cyrus.
France launches sex equality charter for the film industry.