There Are No White, Cisgender Men Nominated For TCA Awards This Year

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Lesbian separatists and Hillary Clinton may not have a lot in common, but both have famously said that the future is female. While that’s certainly true in some sense, the phrase could take some notes from the wonderful world of TV, which is proving that the future is more diverse than just male or female.

This year’s most acclaimed shows have become a showcase for the diversity of gender, sexuality, and race and critics are taking notice. At this year’s Television Critics Association Awards, every nominee for an acting award is either a female or a minority. Yes, that means none of the white, cisgendered men who usually dominate awards shows like the Oscars are up for awards at the TCA’s. The awards show has always maintained non-gendered nominations and this year, the 200 critics and journalists who get paid to binge watch all of your favs came to the same conclusion: women and minorities are at the forefront of groundbreaking television.

As groundbreaking as these nominations are, there’s still a long way to go towards full representation. Women and minorities are still underrepresented in Hollywood while non-black people of color, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community are still struggling to find any representation at all.

We’ll have to wait until August 5th to find out who wins big at the TCA’s, but we hope that this landmark moment in Hollywood will help inspire a new wave of diversity for all minority groups.

Sevdaliza Saves the Last Dance For a French Gay Porn Star in ‘Bluecid’

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A red, silk dress, an elegant ballroom, and a French porn star. That’s all it took for Sevdaliza to create one of the most hauntingly beautiful music videos we’ve seen all year. The Iranian-born singer just dropped the video for “Bluecid,” the newest single from her April debut album ISON, and it’s as gorgeous as she is.

For “Bluecid,” the songstress teamed up with Zahra Reijs to co-direct the stunning video set in an empty ballroom in the Netherlands. Sevdaliza drips in jewels and enough dew to make Glossier blush as she sings and dances with the French adult film actor François Sagat. It’s an unexpected twist for such a somber track, but that’s exactly what she was going for. After all, nothing lives up to the lyric “I could only have you in my dreams, so it seems” quite like dancing with a gay porn star. As if that weren’t enough, she also found inspiration in a passage from Dante’s Inferno that reads:

“My sage cried out to him: ‘You think, perhaps, this is the Duke of Athens, who in the world put you to death. Get away, you beast, for this man does not come tutored by your sister; he comes to view your punishments.'”

Daydream about what gay porn star you want to tango with and watch the “Bluecid” video below.

The Hollywood Evolution of Kirsten Dunst, Sofia Coppola’s Greatest Muse

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As an actor, Kirsten Dunst has taken on every genre with a true craft. From rom coms to psychological thrillers to feminist literature brought to life, she’s evolved from America’s Sweetheart into one of its most accomplished artists.

A Child Star is Born

She was a star from the beginning, of course. Many of us can recall our first introduction to the young starlet when she immortalized Claudia, the childlike creature from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire – holding her own alongside Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise.

Following the film’s success, she went on to star in the film adaptations of Little Women and The Devil’s Arithmetic. But it was her roles in blockbuster family films like Jumanji and Small Soldiers that began to solidify her as a household name. Her onscreen presence was undeniable and would be her biggest strength in the years to follow.

  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Interview with the Vampire' (1994)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Little Women' (1994)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Jumanji' (1995)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Small Soldiers' (1998)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'The Devil's Arithmetic' (1999)

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

It was her role as Lux Lisbon in writer/director Sofia Coppola’s breakout cinematic triumph, The Virgin Suicides that launched both of the women to a new level of Hollywood status. Although Coppola’s last name was obviously known in the industry, her directorial debut proved that she was a young force to behold, long before today’s push for female directors.

Paired with such a rare talent behind the camera, Dunst’s portrayal of a sexually frustrated teenager in the final year of her life rang all the more true. It showcased the young actress in a more mature light, proving she was leading lady material.

The New Hollywood It Girl

After the success of The Virgin Suicides, Dunst was like gold for teen film success. With the addition of a few cult titles like Drop Dead Gorgeous and Dick, she starred in box office hits like Bring It On and Crazy/Beautiful.

Her biggest break thus far came in the dawn of the new wave of superhero movies. Dunst starred as damsel in distress and redheaded girl next door, Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man. Director Sam Raimi’s wildly successful movie franchise put the actress on a new playing field.

Throughout the trilogy, she appeared in other big titles of a more lighthearted variety. With supporting roles in Mona Lisa Smile and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, she played leading lady in romantic comedies Wimbledon and Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown.

  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' (1999)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Dick' (1999)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Bring It On' (2000)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Crazy/Beautiful' (2001)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Spider-Man' (2002)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Mona Lisa Smile' (2003)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Wimbledon' (2004)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Elizabethtown' (2005)

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Coppola and Dunst reunited to tell another tragic female-driven story. This time, Dunst played the titular role in the semi true, yet ultra stylized retelling of Marie Antoinette.

Playing up the decadence of the era, Coppola transformed Dunst into the queen of France. But Dunst’s performance was flawless as not just a royal, but a young woman hoisted into an overwhelming new life for the detriment of her country. It was another success for both ladies.

Long Live the Indie Queen

Marie Antoinette sparked a new era for Dunst’s career. Now having proven herself as a leading lady, her prospects stretched beyond the mainstream. As a rising icon among indie performers, she’s taken on unique roles with some visionary filmmakers of our time.

Most notably, she took on an emotionally intense role in Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. She’s also given stellar performances in All Good ThingsBachelorette, and The Two Faces of January. She even made the jump television, starring in the second season of FX’s anthology series, Fargo.

  • Kirsten Dunst in 'All Good Things' (2010)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Melancholia' (2011)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Bachelorette' (2012)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'On the Road' (2012)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Upside Down' (2012)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'The Two Faces of January' (2014)
  • Kirsten Dunst in 'Fargo' (2015)

The Beguiled 

Coppola and Dunst reunite once again in the period thriller, The Beguiled. Based on the novel and the 1971 film of the same name, the movie follows the women of a southern boarding school during the Civil War. When they discover a wounded enemy soldier, his presence causes jealousy and betrayal.

As both women have evolved to masters of their fields, this latest collaboration is sure to spark a new chapter. Having recently appeared in notable films like Midnight Special and Hidden FiguresThe Beguiled is sure to hoist Dunst once again to a new era of her already illustrious career.

The Beguiled premieres Friday, June 3o.

WATCH: Final Chris Cornell Video for ‘The Promise’

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When Chris Cornell was found dead on May 18, it left fans and friends in considerable shock. The Soundgarden singer had carried on a successful solo career, and had a seemingly happy family life with his wife Vicky Karayiannis and their two children – and yet the conclusion was that he had committed suicide by hanging.

His final release before his passing was “The Promise,” a powerfully soulful track about the Armenian genocide and the ongoing struggles of refugees around the world.

Said Cornell of the song, “‘The Promise’ to me is mainly about paying homage to those we lost in the Armenian Genocide, but it’s also about shining a light on more recent atrocities. The same methods used in the Armenian genocide were used to carry out crimes against humanity in Bosnia, Darfur, Rwanda and right now in Syria on multiple fronts, contributing to a massive global refugee crisis. Unfortunately, the words ‘never again’ seem like just words when we recall these mass executions of the twentieth century.”

The poignant video for the song is released today, June 20 – which is, in fact, also World Refugee Day.


An Urbane Day in Brooklyn With Neo-New-Wave Crooner Tenant From Zero

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Tenant From Zero isn’t much concerned about the musical zeitgeist. The cultivated Brooklyn crooner, whose friends know him as Paul Darrah, draws on such exquisite influences as Prefab Sprout and Everything But The Girl to make music of almost ineffable and timeless beauty.

His debut EP,  The Nape of Your Neck, is replete with the lamentations of an irredeemable romantic. From the evocative synths, to the world-weary vocals to the absolutely gorgeous melodies, haunted ballads like “The Things You Never Said” and “Who Painted This Year Blue” could almost be called “sound paintings,” for the complexity of their emotional and aural ambitions. And throughout, TFZ’s velvety baritone recalls David Sylvian at his most sublime.

But possessing as he is of equally good taste in food as in music, we also asked him to take us around to some of his favorite dining spots in Brooklyn – with one little detour to an exalted fragrance shop.

“Aside from music,” he says, “I’d have to say that food matters to me more than anything. I like to find spots that do one thing very well.”


Where does the name Tenant From Zero come from?

It’s from a late ’80s film called Apartment Zero, about a bookish, nervous guy played by Colin Firth, who takes in a swarthy and mysterious roommate who systematically seduces all of the nervous guy’s neighbors. There are these older spinsters who live in the apartment building and one asks the other “Have you seen the new tenant from zero?” There was something about the way she said it that sounded so right.

Your EP The Nape of Your Neck exhibits some interesting influences: David Sylvian, The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout. What were you actually listening to when you wrote the songs?

I’ve been listening to them and similar artists like Everything But the Girl, Bryan Ferry and Style Council for a very long time; so much so that they feel like a part of my musical identity at this point. They represent a core of artists whose work I’ve returned to over many years since I first discovered them.

They vaguely call it “sophistipop.” But there is a brand of urbane, world-weary pop music that seems lost to time. Do you recognize any specific ideological peers?

I’m not a fan of the term “sophistipop,” as it suggests a kind of elitism. For me, what draws many of the artists together is a shared sense of melancholy, atmosphere and introspection, as much as production and arrangement. I’ve always referred to these artists as “private music,” or music that is meant for one on one listening rather than for crowds. I aspire to the likes of Bill Withers, Paul Buchanan, Tracey Thorn or Destroyer. What Dan Bejar/Destroyer did with the Kaputt album still leaves me breathless; it became my reason for living for awhile.

What are some of the personal highlights of the record for you?

I’d have to say “Who Painted This Past Year Blue.” Steve Morley’s trumpet work on that one just crushes me.

Who would you most love to collaborate with?

I think I’d like to work with Erland Oye from Kings of Convenience. His sense of pop, especially in his Whitest Boy Alive project, was just so perfect. I would also love to sing a duet with Feist.


Tenant From Zero’s Favorite Spots in Brooklyn

Lucali, Carroll Gardens

I would be remiss if I didn’t say that my regular spot for pizza every weekend is Grimaldi’s, which is near and dear to our hearts. But Lucali is quite simply the Platonic ideal of pizza. They don’t do trendy topping combinations or try to appeal to diet restrictions. You arrive at their dimly lit spot, which could easily double as a farmhouse somewhere in Umbria, and you eat what they have or be gone. I’ve never had a pizza either here in the US or in Italy as mind blowing as their pepperoni/mushroom pie with basil. The crust is perfectly crisp, and all of the ingredients – including the sauce and cheese, especially the ricotta – is absolutely fresh. When you’re taking your first few bites, conversation will cease – because you will not just be eating, you will be approaching The Divine.

Ganso, Downtown

Ramen for me is my comfort food on cold and rainy days. Ganso does a beautiful job with their ramen broths, which are all delicious and inventive. The ramen with braised short ribs is outstanding. They also have a great collection of beers – the “Ginga Ninja” pairs perfectly with their Ganso Shoyu.

Rucola, Brooklyn Heights

Including Rucola was only partially based on their food, which is great; they do brunch/lunch really well. The slow-roasted pork sandwich with one of their excellent cocktails and a good book might be one of the best dates-for-one you ever have. But what I especially appreciate about it is the location, because when you’re done eating, you can stroll down Dean Street, quiet, tree-lined, four-story old houses. There is a serenity that’s contained on that street that you can’t quite find in a Brooklyn Heights that’s become strewn with tourists on weekends.

Faun, Prospect Heights

I stumbled upon Faun while strolling through Prospect Heights one weekend, I was intrigued by the menu — the stinging nettle pesto spoke to me. Also the chef came from Vinegar Hill House, which is always good. The interior is dark wood and off white walls, with a lovely outdoor garden dining area. It’s simple but elegant and not too loud. The artichokes are fresh and cooked perfectly, the bacala filled ravioli with a simple butter sauce is insanely delicious. They also have a really interesting Italian wine list, not run-of-the-mill choices; whomever created it has a very good palette.

Botanica, Red Hook

In a city like New York, I appreciate quiet more and more. What I like about Botanica is that late on a Sunday afternoon, you could walk in and have a delicious cocktail at one of the edges of Brooklyn and listen to Sarah Vaughan or Brian Eno and not be disturbed by loud chatter and phones. That’s not to say it’s a church or anything, but that the staff and space itself values quiet. They just want you to relax.

Twisted Lily, Boerum Hill

A couple of blocks from Rucola on Atlantic Ave is one of the finest fragrance shops in NYC. They don’t do the really big names that you can get everywhere, but instead specialize in smaller, more idiosyncratic brands (Andree Putman, The Different Company). And the incredibly welcoming Christa and Carla who manage the shop know the backstory on all of the designers. For instance, Christa knew that I loved Hinoki from Comme de Garcons, and introduced me to a scent called LAVS by UNUM, which smells like an exclusive incense of amber and jasmine from the Vatican. She provided the scent’s fascinating backstory — the UNUM line was created by Filippo Sorcinelli, the former atelier for Pope Benedict, who went on to create a line of fragrances under the acronym LAVS (Laboratorio Atelier Vesti Sacre).  Sorcinelli is also a liturgical organist who plays concerts in churches all over Italy…and what are you doing with your life?



WEEKEND IN OTTAWA: The Art, the Food…the Canadians

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Louis Bourgeois’ Maman at The National Gallery of Canada

The endlessly unsettling reality of domestic politics has once again left untold Americans staring longingly across the northern border – where, currently, hotsy Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presides over a stable economy, and a society that provides universal healthcare, as well as affordable education. (And, despite comparable gun ownership, no seems to be casually blowing each other’s heads off up there, either.)

Thusly inspired, we returned to Ottawa recently (where Trudeau delegates from an office at stately 80 Wellington Street), just in time for the Tulip Festival – an event they share with that other bastion of progressive egalitarianism, The Netherlands. Downtown was teeming with food and flower markets and, of course, Canadians – who, while we hesitate to generalize, just seem so incredibly well-mannered and welcoming all the time. And speaking of wonderful welcomes, we checked into the exceedingly stylish new Andaz Ottawa Byward Market amidst what was actually a pretty buzzy Friday afternoon lobby scene.

The real lure of Canada’s capital is the impossibly picturesque setting, bordered by the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal – and with grandiose 19th Century architecture lording breathtakingly over the city. But there’s also quite a lot to pack into a few days’ visit. And it’s bi-lingual, of course, so you can brush up on your French.

Canada also turns 150 this year – so it’s pretty much a non-stop party up North.

Here’s what we did.


The National Gallery of Canada

A genuine architectural masterpiece by Moshe Safdie (dating to 1989), you feel awed just walking into all the cold, concrete modernism that is The National Gallery of Canada. There’s a great collection of Pop Art that should be your first stop. But the current exhibition, Photography in Canada, 1960-2000, presents an absorbing look at contemporary life through the lenses of some of the country’s most venerable snappers. Don’t forget to pose for a selfie outside with Louise Bourgeois’ massive spider sculpture Maman – it doesn’t bite, but it looks like it might.

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica

From Naples to Krakow to Hamburg, you’ve seen all those uber-baroque European “Houses of God.” Still, none could prepare you for the astonishment of Ottawa’s own Notre-Dame (Cathedral of Our Lady). First, the twin silver spires, which gleam in the sunlight, as if to indicate the transmission of divinity itself. But we sat riveted within the intentionally histrionic neo-gothic interior, which suggests a path to God by means of really daring color choices. It could almost make a believer of Richard Dawkins.

Contemporary Art

There’s actually a good little scene in Ottawa. We liked the Galerie Saw, run by artists and with a decidedly socio-political bent. But we were most taken with an exhibition of Inuit (indigenous people of the Canadian Arctic) carvings at L.A. Pai, one of the city’s most influential contemporary dealers.

The Food + Drink

Ottawa – who knew? But our tastebuds were forced to shift into overdrive during our stay. We naturally dined at the Andaz’ own Feast + Revel, only to joyously discover our new favorite food ever, fiddlehead lasagna; go Canadian and also try the lamb poutine and wild boar rillette. But the city’s hottest scene is at Riviera, with its soaring-ceilinged neo-classical interior, super cute staff and life-altering dishes like venison tartare with pistachios, as well as possibly the best chicken liver pate in the universe (a big deal for us).
For lunchtime, Play Food + Wine is as fun as its name, with small plates (shiitake gnocchi, tempura eggplant) in an industrial mod setting. Though we most loved Social, a sprawling warren of rooms perfect for naughty assignations by night – but by day, we grabbed a sunny courtyard seat and indulged in the Scottish cock a leekie and a few glasses of Canadian Hinterland sparkling wine, all to a knowingly curated Britpop soundtrack. (Canada is of the Commonwealth, after all.)

Riviera Ottawa

The Shopping

Style hounds head to the Sussex Drive corridor, where cool indie boutiques like Trust Fund, Wolf & Zed and Schad offer a current view into mode Canadienne. Patrick McGahern is a legendary shop for rare and used books, should you still prefer them in physical form. Something for the home? Get your mod on at the Modern Shop, flogging designers like Tom Dixon, Jonathan Adler and Moooi.

Moscow Tea Room

If you’re going to pick one place for a night that will remain forever hazy in your mental recall center, Moscow Tea Room is absolutely it. As you might have guessed, it’s not a tea room at all. Rather, it’s a decadent, pre-Bolshevik watering hole done up in a sort of faded Czarist opulence – though a little too earnestly plush to be kitsch. There is a cocktail list, but whatever – drift your eyes straight over to the “Spirits” section of the menu, where you’ll find 19 expertly-chosen vodkas listed by shot price. Our unimaginably lovely Arab expat bartenders Zainab and Kianna (Seriously, how can you have those names and not be a reality show?) poured us ice cold Russian Standard Platinum and impressively expounded on international political matters and their love and loyalty for their adopted country. One of the best bars anywhere, period.

Stay: Andaz Ottawa Byward Market

We’d done time at the Andaz hotels in New York, WeHo, Mayakoba – but the Andaz Ottawa is easily our fave. As you enter, there’s a tiny area for check-in, leaving the rest of the lobby for lounging and socializing – of which there was much. Rooms smartly have huge floor-to-ceiling windows, all the better to frame the awesome scenery all around. And the bathrooms…cool, modern and surprisingly spacious.
The hotel’s (literally) crowning feature, though, is the rooftop Copper Spirits & Sights. Ottawa, apparently, has not exactly discovered the joys of skyward tippling – so the bar was a sensation upon opening. There’s an enclosed indoor area, an expansive, comfy-furnished outdoor terrace, and a killer cocktail list. Tequila aficionados should order the Copper Skyline; but we couldn’t resist with the bourbon-and-smoked-glass Last Man Standing. And there’s that view.



Ken’s New Fashion Chapter Includes a…Man Bun

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We’ve all known Ken to be a pioneer in the fashion industry since his birth in 1961 from the plastic womb of Mattel. Over the years, he’s been retro…

Courtesy of Mattel (1961).

He’s been avent garde…

Courtesy of Mattel (Ken by Gareth Pugh).

He’s been a whole host of things:

Courtesy of Mattel.

Now, it’s with great pleasure we introduce Ken’s next chapter in his ongoing fashion evolution: a Brooklyn hipster sporting his inevitable man bun:

Courtesy of Mattel.

He’s part of the “New Crew,” a new collection of Barbies and Kens recently unveiled by the toy titan. The New Crew has 15 new dolls, in 3 different body types, with 5 different ethnicities of dear Kenneth. Here’s the whole New Crew:

Courtesy of Mattel.

As the new line drops, so too does the news that an exhibition of the best of vintage Ken, including that fantastic Gareth Pugh version, will go up this Friday at the London-based store Machine-A, Dazed reports.

It’s important to keep a few things in mind as you continue with the rest of your day:


The Bellas Return in ‘Pitch Perfect 3’ Behind-the-Scenes Teaser

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How many sequels can you make to a successful comedy before it just gets aca-ridiculous? Let’s hope we don’t have to figure out with Pitch Perfect 3. Although the first installment was a hilarious success, the second film fell a little flat (no pun intended).

Director Trish Sie takes the helm of the most recent addition, which is set to premiere in December. A new teaser for the film goes behind the scenes of the film which brings all our favorite musical gals back together and takes them on an aca-adventure around the world. It looks to be filled with laughs, tears, and apparently a boat fire, with the addition of John Lithgow and DJ Khaled.

Pitch Perfect 3 premieres this December. Watch the teaser below:

BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Sexy New Hotel Garuda Single + Video ‘Till it Burns Out’

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With names like Manila Killa and Candle Weather, Indonesian duo Hotel Garuda seem destined for great things. And indeed, they’ve already done high-profile remixes for Lorde, Banks and Lana Del Rey, racked up 30 million plays on Soundcloud, and been a regular presence on the Hype Machine charts since their 2014 debut.

Their new single “Til it Burns Out” is a sultry, seductive  profession of undying love, featuring an alluring vocal by Welsh singer Violet Skies. “I will wait for you / Until the stars burn out / Until the moon falls from the sky,” she intones with convincing passion, over a slow, sensual groove.

“‘Til It Burns Out’ happened,” explains Manila Killa, “because we were looking to do something different and surprise our fans. Both of us take heavy inspiration from experimental, underground, and indie music so we wanted to incorporate all of that in this next single. We hope that our fans enjoy the song as much as we had fun making it.”

BlackBook premieres the video here.