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Bush vs. Textbooks

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Bush vs. Textbooks

During the final segment of his 1977 interview with Richard Nixon, British TV host David Frost pressed the disgraced 37th president one last time on the issue of his “mistakes.” Nixon’s face appeared twisted and labored as he answered, in part: “I let down my friends. I let down the country. I let down our system of government and the dreams of all those young people that ought to get into government but think that it’s all too corrupt.” The interview, dramatized in Peter Morgan’s 2006 stage play Frost/Nixon and in Ron Howard’s new film adaptation of the same name, shows a man beaten and on the cusp of admitting defeat, if not absolute guilt. Another recent Hollywood film, Oliver Stone’s W., depicts the current president’s answer to a similar question, albeit in a less historically accurate context, when, during a 2004 press conference, Time’s John Dickerson asked George W. Bush what his biggest mistake was following 9/11 and what lessons he had learned from it. Bush couldn’t think of one.

It took the world three years to coax a pseudo-confession from the lips of Tricky Dick, and while it’s unclear what kind of hindsight Bush might be granted in that amount of time, what is apparent is that the level of self-awareness and pathetic self-deprecation portrayed in Frank Langella’s Nixon is absent in Bush and those who have surrounded him during the last eight years. One need look no further than the administration’s Legacy Tour, which sounds more like some geriatric rock act’s nostalgic traveling stage show than an attempt at an overhaul of his political image. The administration has consistently defaulted to as-yet-unborn high school textbook writers to determine whether or not any of their actions were good or bad, but that hasn’t stopped Bush and his cronies from going on a whirlwind publicity tour in an attempt to shape that historical determination.

~

In order to fully comprehend the extent to which the administration fails to comprehend—or the extent to which it willfully obscures—its mistakes, it’s necessary to recognize just how early in Bush’s presidency those mistakes began. I remember being glued to the television in a friend’s dorm room on election night in 2000. It was the first time I had participated in our democracy, and a small group of us stayed up into the wee hours of the morning as, one by one, the networks—led by Fox News, whose Election Analysis Division’s John Ellis called the statistically too-close-to-call Florida, and thus the election, for his cousin George—declared that our new president would not be Al Gore after all. It would be weeks before all the recounts were completed (or not completed, as was the case) and the Supreme Court handed the presidency to the man who, even sans a proper tally, lost the popular vote by over half a million votes.

The electoral college, a system designed over two hundred years ago by founding fathers who believed the office should seek the man and not the other way around, men who still feared British political influence and who aimed to protect the Union from the encroaching powers of the biggest of its then-13 states, was designed at a time when not everyone could see a candidate up close and personal or quickly gain access to copious amounts of information about the men running for public office at the click of a button. Times have changed, though, and the failure of that system eight years ago had consequences far greater than even the biggest cynic could have imagined.

Legitimate or not, Bush’s election was the first profoundly and thoroughly squandered opportunity of his administration. Any other presidential candidate might have been humbled or even embarrassed by the lengths and depths to which he or she had to fight for the office; a more lucid politician might have recognized that a nation divided was not one on which a partisan agenda should be thrust. He or she might have made concessions to the left and reached out in compromise. Instead, Bush defined bipartisanship as the willingness of the opposition to support legislation that bolstered his neoconservative policies.

Bush’s biggest missed opportunity, however, came just a few short months later, when, after ignoring warnings that Islamic extremists were intent on using commercial airliners to attack the United States within its own borders and then they did just that, newspapers across the globe declared, “We Are All Americans!” Out of great tragedy came great opportunity, and for a moment in time, even Democrats rallied around the president. But Bush abused the goodwill he was given and, with the aide of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and the other chief architects of the Iraq invasion, he exploited the events of 9/11 in order to execute a plan that had been in the works for years: removing Saddam Hussein in the quest of creating a larger footprint in the region. The opportunities that the administration saw in the tragedy of the terrorist attacks was not unification or peace but the acquisition of power via the steady and deliberate dismantling of the country’s very founding principles.

Out of great tragedy also comes great responsibility. Bush’s cabinet appointments alone, from Alberto Gonzales (who presided over the most corrupt, ineffective, politicized, and discriminatory Department of Justice in U.S. history) all the way down to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Edwin G. Foulke Jr. (who is, according to R. Jeffrey Smith at The Washington Post, a lawyer and former Bush fundraiser who used to defend companies cited by OSHA for safety and health violations), would tarnish even the most noble of American presidents’ legacies, to say nothing of the appointments he attempted, but failed, to make. But it was Michael Brown, who was appointed as director of FEMA despite having little to no experience, who shouldered much of the blame for the administration’s biggest domestic blunder: the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A scapegoat for the administration’s failures, Brown would later claim that he warned Bush of the imminent dangers of a levee breach but that those warnings were dismissed and that the decision about whether or not to federalize the region was viewed as a political opportunity by those close to the president.

~

This history, of course, has been so well documented and accepted by the American people, finally, that repeating it here serves merely as context for what is, perhaps, the Bush administration’s most audacious enterprise to date: the rewriting of that history as orchestrated by Karl Rove via a series “exit interviews.” “I think I was unprepared for war,” Bush said when asked last month by ABC News’s Charlie Gibson what he was most unprepared for during his tenure in the White House. It’s a stunning, Nixon-sized admission coming from the man who once proclaimed, “I am a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign policy matters with war on my mind.” When asked if he would have gone to war with Iraq had the intelligence showed that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, he said he was unsure.

Rove himself launched his Bush Legacy Project by telling a New York audience that the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq if they knew there was no WMD. But he, like Condoleezza Rice, still stubbornly defends the decision to enter into the elective war, even if the reasons continue to be as disparate as the religious, political, and ethnic factions that comprise Iraq’s population. Rice thinks it was good for America: “[Hussein] was an implacable enemy of the United States,” she reasoned in a recent interview with Tavis Smiley. What’s good for America, then, is evidently good for the world, right? In 2005, at the height of the violence in Iraq, Pentagon advisor Richard Perle told The Pittsburgh Tribune Review that the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war was intended to promote democracy throughout the world: “This doesn’t mean imposing democracy by force. We can’t do that, and we know we can’t do that. But sometimes the obstacles to democracy can only be removed by force.” To quote Michael Knight from his piece “Empire America – Spreading Freedom, Democracy, Terrorism”: “Darling, I would never rape you. I am just tearing your clothes off so we can make love.”

This myopic view of the world is manifest in everyone in and surrounding the administration—no surprise considering that its namesake is seemingly incapable of looking inward or backward. Dick Cheney is, maybe, the only one not involved in some daft attempt at political revisionism, proudly telling ABC’s Jonathan Karl in early December that he did indeed authorize the use of torture, though he refused to use the word, and generously expressed astonishment on behalf of all of us who witnessed the attacks of 9/11 that there hasn’t been another one yet. The implication is, naturally, that the administration is due credit for subsequently preventing an attack like the one it failed to prevent in 2001.

“There can be no debate about the results in keeping America safe,” Bush told the U.S. Army War College, ostensibly the only audience he could find that would be unlikely to call him out on his rhetorical challenge. “We’ll never know how many lives have been saved,” he continued, citing failed attempts to bomb fuel tanks at JFK Airport, a plot to blow up international jets, and a plan to attack a Chicago-area shopping mall—effectively giving himself a hypothetical pat on the back for the hypothetical prevention of attacks that were essentially hypothetical (that is, merely aspirational and not operational). It’s like Osama bin Laden expressing a desire to bomb Smurf Village, realizing he’s not an animated cartoon character, and then Papa Smurf taking credit for preventing the attack.

For an even flimsier logic than Bush’s, look no further than a recent piece by Peggy Noonan (the title of which, “At Least Bush Kept Us Safe,” speaks volumes in and of itself): “It is unknown, and perhaps can’t be known, whether [the lack of another domestic terrorist attack] was fully due to the government’s efforts, or the luck of the draw, or a combination of luck and effort. And it not only can’t be fully known by the public, it can hardly be fully known by the players at all levels of government. They can’t know, for instance, of a potential terrorist cell that didn’t come together because of their efforts.” (The Wall Street Journal apparently now pays writers to talk in circles.)

Three weeks ago, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino released a statement in response to a New York Times article which placed the blame for the financial meltdown of 2008 squarely on Bush’s soldiers: “The Times’ ’reporting’ in this story amounted to finding selected quotes to support a story the reporters fully intended to write from the onset, while disregarding anything that didn’t fit their point of view,” she said. Ignoring for a moment both the veracity of the Times piece and the thanklessness of Perino’s job, one can’t help but notice the blatant hypocrisy with which the White House statement smacks. It’s reminiscent of Bush’s own countless missives, like his second inaugural speech, which was littered with hypocrisies about the “ideologies that feed hatred,” the “pretensions of tyrants,” and the “force of human freedom,” historical inaccuracies about the founding of the republic, and propaganda that summoned all of the most ignoble parts of our nation’s history. He was the tyrant of which he spoke.

And, at least starting in 2004, he became a demagogue, obtaining power by appealing to the fears of the people and then claiming it was absolute, first by dubbing himself “the decider” and then by laying claim to a “mandate” after winning reelection. “Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time,” Bush said during that second inaugural, apparently unaware that his oath of office requires him to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” not the American people—the pretense under which the administration has waged its wars on sovereign nations and its own citizens’ civil liberties.

Addressing an audience at a Holocaust Museum last month without, miraculously, strapping himself to a board and pouring water down his own throat afterward, Attorney General and latest Bush lapdog Michael Mukasey said: “[L]aw without conscience is no guarantee of freedom; that even the seemingly most advanced of nations can be led down the path of evil.” Agents of the outgoing administration—both major and minor, direct and tangential—appear utterly oblivious to the self-damning hypocrisies that are falling from their mouths in their attempts at salvaging their legacy. In a recent DOJ court filing in which the U.S. is charging the son of former Liberian president Charles Taylor to 147 years in prison for torturing people in his own country, Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Heck Miller wrote that torture “undermines respect for and trust in authority, government and a rule of law,” exposing the tragic comedy behind a U.S. court prosecuting torture in other countries while the administration continues to retroactively redefine the word to mask its own crimes. It is the very definition of hubris, the product of a nation whose government has unequivocally become morally, ethically, and intellectually bankrupt on every level and in every branch. There isn’t a textbook big enough to record—nor a cynical political advisor savvy enough to conceal—a legacy as damning as that.

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Music

Billie Eilish Drops Lush James Bond Theme Song “No Time to Die”

The lush, darkly cinematic track feature an orchestral arrangement courtesy of Hans Zimmer and guitar from Johnny Marr.

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Billie Eilish, No Time to Die
Photo: Interscope Records

On the heels of her historic Grammy wins, singer-songwriter Billie Eilish has unveiled “No Time to Die,” the theme song from the upcoming James Bond film of the same name. The song was produced by her brother and frequent collaborator, Finneas, and veteran knob-twirler Stephen Lipson. The lush, darkly cinematic track falls in line with past 007 themes, with an orchestral arrangement courtesy of Hans Zimmer and Matt Dunkley, and featuring guitar from Johnny Marr of the Smiths.

The 18-year-old Eilish, the youngest person and first woman to win the four main Grammy categories in the same year, is now the youngest artist to both write and record a Bond theme. She will perform the song live for the first time at The Brit Awards on February 18.

No Time to Die hits U.S. theaters on April 10 through MGM/United Artists Releasing.

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David Lowery’s The Green Knight, Starring Dev Patel, Gets Teaser Trailer

Today, A24 dropped the trailer for haunting mustache enthusiast David Lowery’s latest.

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The Green Knight
Photo: A24

Jack of all trades and haunting mustache enthusiast David Lowery is currently in pre-production on the latest live-action adaptation of Peter Pan for Disney, which is bound to be full steam ahead now that The Green Knight is almost in the can. Today, A24 debuted the moody teaser trailer for the film, which stars Dev Patel as Sir Gawain on a quest to defeat the eponymous “tester of men.” Scored by Lowery’s longtime collaborator Daniel Hart, The Green Knight appears to have been shot and edited in the same minimalist mode of the filmmaker’s prior features, which include Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and A Ghost Story. Though it’s not being billed as a horror film, it’s very easy to see from the one-and-a-half-minute clip how Lowery’s latest is of a piece with so many A24 horror films before it.

According to A24’s official description of the film:

An epic fantasy adventure based on the timeless Arthurian legend, The Green Knight tells the story of Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), King Arthur’s reckless and headstrong nephew, who embarks on a daring quest to confront the eponymous Green Knight, a gigantic emerald-skinned stranger and tester of men. Gawain contends with ghosts, giants, thieves, and schemers in what becomes a deeper journey to define his character and prove his worth in the eyes of his family and kingdom by facing the ultimate challenger. From visionary filmmaker David Lowery comes a fresh and bold spin on a classic tale from the knights of the round table.

The Green Knight is written, directed, and edited by Lowery and also stars Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, and Barry Keoghan.

See the trailer below:

A24 will release The Green Knight this summer.

The Green Knight

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Film

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, a Tribute to Journalists, Gets First Trailer

Anderson’s latest is described as a “love letter to journalists.”

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The French Dispatch
Photo: Searchlight Pictures

Today, Searchlight Pictures debuted the trailer for The French Dispatch, Wes Anderson’s first feature since 2018’s Isle of Dogs and first live-action film since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. According to its official description, The French Dispatch “brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city.” The city is Ennui-sur-Blasé and the magazine is run by Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray), an American journalist based in France. The trailer, just a hair over two minutes, quickly establishes the workaday (and detail-rich) world of a magazine, a travelogue struggling with just how much politics to bring to its pages during a time of strife.

A French Dispatch is written and directed by Anderson, whose described the film as a “love letter to journalists,” and stars Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. See the trailer below:

Searchlight Pictures will release The French Dispatch on July 24.

The French Dispatch

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Awards

Oscar 2020: Complete Winners List

Parasite earned four awards, edging out 1917 for best picture.

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Parasite
Photo: Neon

Across the last month, we contemplated various pendulum swings, drew links between the Oscar voting process and the Iowa caucuses, and generally mulled over the academy’s ongoing existential crisis, only to come the conclusion that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Or that’s what we thought prior to the Academy Awards ceremony. In a welcome surprise, Parasite took the top prize, becoming the first international title to do so in the history of the awards show, while Bong Joon-ho became the first director since Roman Polanski to win the directing Oscar after failing to win the DGA prize. (Parasite is also the first Palme d’Or winner since Marty way back in 1955 to claim best picture.)

In the era of the preferential ballot, one stat or another has been thrown out the window each year, but after last night, it feels like every last one was shattered to bits, and that the triumph of Bong film’s could signal a shift in the industry when it comes to not just what sorts of stories can be told. Indeed, Parasite’s victory is redolent of Moonlight’s no less historic one a few years ago, giving us hope that the very definition of an “Oscar movie” has been forever rewritten. Predicting the Oscars has become a little bit harder now.

Here’s the full list of winners.

Picture
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite (WINNER)

Director
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Todd Phillips, Joker
Sam Mendes, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite (WINNER)

Actor
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (WINNER)
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Actress
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy (WINNER)

Actor in a Supporting Role
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (WINNER)

Actress in a Supporting Role
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Laura Dern, Marriage Story (WINNER)
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Adapted Screenplay
The Irishman, Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi (WINNER)
Joker, Todd Phillips and Scott Silver
Little Women, Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes, Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay
Knives Out, Rian Johnson
Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
1917, Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino
Parasite, Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won (WINNER)

International Feature Film
Corpus Christi (Poland)
Honeyland (North Macedonia)
Les Misérables (France)
Pain and Glory (Spain)
Parasite (South Korea) (WINNER)

Documentary Feature
American Factory, Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, and Jeff Reichert
The Cave, Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod, and Sigrid Dyekjær
The Edge of Democracy, Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris, and Tiago Pavan
For Sama, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts
Honeyland, Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, and Atanas Georgiev

Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis, and Bonnie Arnold
I Lost My Body, Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
Klaus, Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh, and Marisa Román
Missing Link, Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner, and Travis Knight
Toy Story 4, Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen, and Jonas Rivera (WINNER)

Film Editing
Ford v Ferrari, Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland (WINNER)
The Irishman, Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit, Tom Eagles
Joker, Jeff Groth
Parasite, Yang Jinmo

Cinematography
The Irishman, Rodrigo Prieto
Joker, Lawrence Sher
The Lighthouse, Jarin Blaschke
1917, Roger Deakins (WINNER)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Robert Richardson

Production Design
The Irishman, Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
Jojo Rabbit, Ra Vincent and Nora Sopková
1917, Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh (WINNER)
Parasite, Lee Ha-jun and Cho Won-woo

Costume Design
The Irishman, Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
Jojo Rabbit, Mayes C. Rubeo
Joker, Mark Bridges
Little Women, Jacqueline Durran (WINNER)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Arianne Phillip

Visual Effects
Avengers: Endgame, Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken, and Dan Sudick
The Irishman, Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser, and Stephane Grabli
The Lion King, Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Elliot Newman
1917, Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, and Dominic Tuohy (WINNER)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, and Dominic Tuohy

Original Score
Joker, Hildur Guðnadóttir (WINNER)
Little Women, Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story, Randy Newman
1917, Thomas Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Williams

Sound Mixing
Ad Astra, Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, and Mark Ulano
Ford v Ferrari, Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Steven A. Morrow
Joker, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, and Tod Maitland
1917, Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson (WINNER)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler, and Mark Ulano

Sound Editing
Ford v Ferrari, Donald Sylvester (WINNER)
Joker, Alan Robert Murray
1917, Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Matthew Wood and David Acord

Makeup and Hairstyling
Bombshell, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker (WINNER)
Joker, Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
Judy, Jeremy Woodhead
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten, and David White
1917, Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis, and Rebecca Cole

Original Song
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4, Randy Newman
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman, Elton John and Bernie Taupin
“I’m Standing with You,” Breakthrough, Diane Warren
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up,” Harriet, Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

Live-Action Short
Brotherhood, Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
Nefta Footfall Club, Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
The Neighbor’s Window, Marshall Curry (WINNER)
Saria, Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre
A Sister, Delphine Girard

Documentary Short Subject
In the Absence, Yi Seung-jun and Gary Byung-seok Kam
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl), Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Life Overtakes Me, John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
St. Louis Superman, Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
Walk, Run, Chacha, Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt

Animated Short
Daughter, Daria Kashcheeva
Hair Love, Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver (WINNER)
Kitbull, Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
Memorable, Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre
Sister, Siqi Song

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Music

Eminem Drops Surprise Album and Anti-Gun Violence Video for “Darkness”

Music to Be Murdered By was released unexpectedly, accompanied by a music video for the track “Darkness.”

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Eminem
Photo: YouTube

Less than 17 months after his last album, Kamikaze, swooped in out of nowhere, Detroit rapper Eminem, né Marshall Mathers, has dropped another surprise album. Music to Be Murdered By was released unexpectedly tonight, accompanied by a music video for the track “Darkness.”

Directed by James Larese, the clip was seemingly inspired by the 2017 Las Vegas gun massacre, as Eminem narrates the disturbing inner thoughts of an isolated, mentally ill mass shooter. The video ends with the message, “When will this end? When enough people care” and a call to register to vote.

The 20-track album features collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Juice WRLD, Q-Tip, Anderson .Paak, and more. It also includes a song called “Stepdad,” about the rapper’s abusive stepfather.

Music to Be Murdered By is out now on Shady/Aftermath/Interscope Records.

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Awards

2020 Oscar Nominations: Joker, 1917, The Irishman, and OUATIH Lead Field

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning by Issa Rae and John Cho.

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Joker
Photo: Warner Bros.

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning by Issa Rae and John Cho. Todd Phillips’s Joker led the nomination count with 11, followed by Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Sam Mendes’s 1917, and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood with 10 each, and Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women with six each.

While Joker mostly received attention throughout the awards season for Joaquin Phoenix’s lead performance, many pegged Hildur Guðnadóttir’s victory at the Golden Globes for her score as a sign that the film would do well at the Oscars. Elsewhere, Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers) had to make way for Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell) in best supporting actress and Lupita N’yongo (Us) for Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) in best actress. And both Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory) and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) landed nominations for best actor, pushing Golden Globe-winner Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Robert De Niro (The Irishman), and Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari out of the way.

See below for a full list of the nominations.

Best Picture
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite

Best Director
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Todd Phillips, Joker
Sam Mendes, 1917
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

Best Actress
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Actor
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Best Costume Design
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Best Sound Editing
Ford v Ferrari
Joker
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Sound Mixing
Ad Astra
Ford v Ferrari
Joker
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Best Animated Short
Dcera (Daughter)
Hair Love
Kitbull
Memorable
Sister

Best Live-Action Short
Brotherhood
Nefta Footfall Club
The Neighbor’s Window
Saria
A Sister

Best Film Editing
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Parasite

Best Original Score
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
1917
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Documentary Feature
American Factory
The Cave
The Edge of Democracy
For Sama
Honeyland

Best Documentary Short Subject
In the Absence
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)
Life Overtakes Me
St. Louis Superman
Walk, Run, Chacha

Best International Feature Film
Corpus Christi (Poland)
Honeyland (North Macedonia)
Les Misérables (France)
Pain and Glory (Spain)
Parasite (South Korea)

Best Production Design
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite

Best Visual Effects
Avengers: Endgame
The Irishman
The Lion King
1917
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Cinematography
The Irishman
Joker
The Lighthouse
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Bombshell
Joker
Judy
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
1917

Best Animated Feature
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Klaus
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
The Two Popes

Best Original Screenplay
Knives Out
Marriage Story
1917
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite

Best Original Song
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” Toy Story 4
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
“I’m Standing with You,” Breakthrough
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2
“Stand Up,” Harriet

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Film

John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place Part II, Starring Emily Blunt, Gets Trailer

The film stands to further boost the profile of the Hudson Valley as a destination for filmmakers.

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The Quiet Place Part II
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Today, Paramount debuted in theaters and online the trailer for the sequel to John Krasinski’s runaway success A Quiet Place, which topped our list of the best horror films of 2018. Not so imaginatively titled A Quiet Place Part II, the film was shot in part in Erie County but, like its predecessor, mostly in the Hudson Valley region where Krasinski and Emily Blunt live with their children. The film, then, stands to not only goose audiences this March, but to also boost the profile of the region as a destination for filmmakers.

According to Paramount’s official description of A Quiet Place Part II: “Following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.”

A Quiet Place Part II is written and directed by Krasinski and also stars Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. See the tense trailer below:

Paramount will release A Quiet Place Part II on March 20.

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Music

Kesha Gets Her Swagger Back in Raucous “Raising Hell” Single and Video

The song reprises the driving dance beats and irreverent, IDGAF swagger of the singer’s early hits.

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Kesha
Photo: Dana Trippe

Clocking in at under three minutes and featuring lyrics like “I’m still here, still bringin’ it to ya,” Kesha’s new song, “Raising Hell,” feels more like an album intro than a proper lead single. But it’s a fitting re-introduction, reprising the driving dance beats and irreverent, IDGAF swagger of the singer’s early hits: “I’m all fucked up in my Sunday best/No walk of shame ‘cause I love this dress/Hungover, heart of gold, holy mess/Doin’ my best, bitch, I’m blessed.”

Though it’s not quite a return to form, “Raising Hell” is a gospel-tinged rave-up featuring Big Freedia that provides a bridge between Kesha’s breakout sound and 2017’s more introspective, roots-inspired Rainbow. Her forthcoming album, High Road, reportedly boasts a wide breadth of styles, from dance-rap bangers to dream-pop ballads, and guests Brian Wilson, Sturgill Simpson, and, yes, even a meta-appearance from “Ke$ha” on the track “Kinky.”

In the video for “Raising Hell,” Kesha plays a very-Aqua Netted televangelist who murders her abusive husband and goes on the lam. The clip, directed by Luke Gilford, sets up a narrative thread that, based on the album’s trailer, will ostensibly run through the entire project.

Watch below:

High Road is set to be released on January 10 on Kemosabe/RCA Records.

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Film

Watch the First Trailer for Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman

Today, Netflix has given us our first look at the film, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

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The Irishman
Photo: Netflix

On Monday, it was announced that The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, will open this year’s New York Film Festival. And today, Netflix, which will release the film in select theaters and on its streaming service at some point later in the year, has given us our first look at the production, which stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

According to Netflix’s official description, The Irishman is “an epic saga of organized crime in post-war America told through the eyes of World War II veteran Frank Sheeran, a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century. Spanning decades, the film chronicles one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American history, the disappearance of legendary union boss Jimmy Hoffa, and offers a monumental journey through the hidden corridors of organized crime.”

In a statement from Film at Lincoln Center, New York Film Festival director Kent Jones, a frequent collaborator of Scorsese’s, said that The Irishman is “the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me.”

See the kinetic trailer, which provides us with our first look of the film’s sure-to-be-controversial “de-aging” VFX techniques, below:

The Irishman will premiere at the New York Film Festival on September 27.

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Film

Disney’s Mulan Live-Action Remake, Starring Yifei Liu, Gets Teaser Trailer

The film follows a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a warrior in order to spare her ailing father from war.

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Mulan
Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Today, during the Women’s World Cup final between America and the Netherlands, Disney premiered the first trailer for its live-action remake of the 1998 animated move of the same name. The film follows a young Chinese woman (Yifei Liu) who, after the Emperor of China (Jet Li) issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial army, disguises herself as a warrior in order to spare the life of her ailing father (Tzi Ma). According to Disney’s official description of the film: “Masquerading as a man, Hua Jun, she is tested every step of the way and must harness her inner strength and embrace her true potential. It is an epic journey that will transform her into an honored warrior and earn her the respect of a grateful nation…and a proud father.”

Mulan features a celebrated international cast that also includes Donnie Yen as Commander Tung, Jason Scott Lee as Böri Khan, Yoson An as Cheng Honghui, and Gong Li as Xianniang. The film is directed by Niki Caro from a screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Elizabeth Martin, and Lauren Hynek based on the narrative poem “The Ballad of Mulan.”

See the action-packed teaser trailer below:

Disney will release Mulan in March 2020.

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