alexa BlackBook: Fluid Notions: Face to Face with John Cameron Mitchell and Shamir

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Singer and songwriter Shamir — who just dropped Revelations, his third album — discusses the connection between gender expression and creativity with actor, writer and director John Cameron Mitchell.

 

 

John Cameron Mitchell: Do you get a lot of people saying you are their role model, in terms of your masculinity, your femininity, your mix? Do people say, “Thank you for letting me be me because you’re you?”

Shamir: I didn’t realize how important my representation was. I definitely tried to downplay it. One definitive moment for me was in Nottingham, when a queer British kid – he was Middle Eastern or Indian I think – told me how good it was to see a queer person of color in pop music. We’re still people, you know? It feels a little too martyr-y to be like, “I’m like Moses, and I’ll lead you through the water.” I’m still trying to figure out life. I was 19 when I came out. I remember one moment when I was on BBC World News, and this staunch British guy in a suit sitting across from me was like, “Transgender — what does that mean?” I was like, “Honestly, I don’t know because I didn’t make up that term.”

JCM: I remember when people started saying “post-gay” and I was like, “What does that mean?”

S: There are other words! There’s nonbinary, there’s genderqueer.

JCM: We don’t fear anymore – maybe that’s what they’re saying. Gender is a fluid thing but it’s also a very determining thing for many cultures, where you get killed if you don’t fit in. Being kind of a femme-y gay boy, and creating Hedwig, which is not really a trans character, it’s more accidental and he’s forced into a situation by politics. He’s in the middle because of people’s cruelty. It’s an interesting metaphor that a lot of people can relate to. It’s the idea of the Other.

S: When you’re in the public eye, people might think that it’s an aesthetic choice, and that’s one thing that really grinds my gears, especially if I get a David Bowie comparison. I’m like, “Hmm, I don’t like that. It’s not about a character – I’m not a character.”

JCM: He did a fake queer character. Cool, you know, he did it really well, but that’s about performance.

S: It’s performance art! Fine. But it’s not what I’m here for.

JCM: It’s about you recording straight out of your house, and people responding.

S: I feel the most content I’ve ever felt in my life.

 

Photos by Jason MacDonald & FilmMagic

alexa BlackBook: Style Icon: Edgar Ramirez Fashions a Vivid Portrayal of Legendary Designer Gianni Versace for ‘American Crime Story’

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On the cover: Versace blazer, similar styles $2,650 at Farfetch.com; Turtleneck, $650 at Versace.com

 

A FEW months before fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered on the steps of his Miami Beach villa by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, then-20-year-old Edgar Ramirez visited his parents in the sun-kissed party city. “If you walked on Ocean Drive, you could feel the vitality and the energy,” the Venezuelan actor tells Alexa of those freewheeling days in 1997. “It was exhilarating, it was exuberant.”

Ramirez, now 40, is revisiting that glamorous — and tragic — time. The actor plays the legendary Italian couturier on FX’s 10-episode The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, premiering on Jan. 17.

 

Shirt, $195 at ThomasPink.com

 

It’s a departure for the square-jawed screen star, who has become a Hollywood go-to for variations on masculine archetypes: a deadbeat ex-husband opposite Jennifer Lawrence in Joy; a CIA operative in Zero Dark Thirty and Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán at the center of Hands of Stone, a biopic also starring Robert De Niro and Usher.

While Ramirez transformed himself into fighting shape for Hands of Stone, dieting and training for hours a day in Panama City gyms, he went in the opposite direction for his fashion-designer role. The normally fit leading man packed on 20 pounds, the Italian way — by indulging in endless plates of pasta — and used prosthetics for the first time. Sporting a receding hairline, graying coiffure, three-day stubble and a generous physique, he bears an uncanny resemblance to the late designer.

Cutting the weight is proving less enjoyable. “Now is when the fun part is over,” he says with a slightly gloomy tone in his voice. “Because I gotta lose it.”

 

 

Jacket, $2,895 and pants, $750, 
both at Valentino, 693 Fifth Ave.; 
James Perse T-shirt, $60 at MrPorter.com

 

His preparation for the part also included speaking to close friends of Versace, whose private life stood in stark contrast to the glorious excess of his brand’s image. “[People] remember the lush exuberance of the clothes and the sex appeal and the sexuality and the models and the parties,” Ramirez says. “But on the real, personal side, he was not a party animal. He used to go to bed very early and get up very early as well. It was very interesting to discover that side of him.”

Ramirez gained a newfound respect for the refined artist during his preparation. “He was a very cultivated man. He used to say that in order to be a fashion designer, in order to be an artist in general, you have to be very cultivated, you have to be very well-informed,” he says. “He wanted to be a musician before he became a fashion designer, so he took inspiration from a lot of different sources. It was great for me to try to act for a mind like that.”

It’s not a stretch for Ramirez to embody worldly charm. His mother was an attorney and his father was a military officer, which means he spent much of his childhood traveling the world and speaks five languages fluently. If he takes a journalistic approach to researching his characters, there’s good reason: He studied to be a political reporter at university in Caracas before pursuing his love of the performing arts. In 2003, his matinee-idol good looks helped land him a role in Cosita Rica, a Venezuelan telenovela. His Hollywood breakthrough came with a role in the 2005 action flick, Domino, and since then he has forged a reputation for portraying swaggering macho characters with both intensity and intelligent nuance.

 

Canali blazer, $1,429 at Farfetch.com; 
Sandro turtleneck, $345 at 
Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave.

 

The opportunity to share an unseen side of Versace is part of what drew him to this new project, in addition to working with American Crime Story executive producer Ryan Murphy.
While there is plenty of romantic passion in American Crime Story, it’s also a familial drama. The central relationship is between Gianni and his sister Donatella, played by a cigarette-smoking Penélope Cruz in tight dresses and a platinum wig. In the 20 years since her brother’s heartbreaking death, Donatella has taken over the brand’s creative direction and built it into a global luxury powerhouse, but here we get a glimpse at their early behind-the-scenes partnership, which could be — shall we say — lively.

Ramirez says that both he and Cruz, who is Spanish, understand the fiery temperament. “We can relate to volatile but strong and beautiful family relationships,” he continues with a laugh. “That’s a world I understand. Like when someone from another culture asks about you and your family, ‘Are you fighting?’ And you’re like, ‘No, this is how we talk!’”

Ramirez treasures the strong bonds he formed on set with his fellow actors. “Penélope and Ricky [Martin, who plays Gianni’s partner Antonio D’Amico] and I became good friends and it was great, there was a lot of compassion for each other,” he says. “It was really beautiful. Penélope is very family-oriented, there was a very great connection between us.”

 

Tallia Orange jacket, $375 at Macys.com; 
Shirt & Cufflinks, $195 & $225 at ThomasPink.com; Pants, $895 at DSquared2, 166 Spring St.; “Papal” derbies, 
$1,395 at ChristianLouboutin.com

 

While Ramirez loved the flashy Versace wardrobe, off-camera he favors low-key, timeless pieces that look stylish, never trendy; so much so that GQ magazine dubbed him “the king of good taste” earlier this year. “I love design in general,” says the star, who cuts a slick figure on the red carpet in narrow suits and classic tuxes. “I love architecture and, of course, fashion. There’s nothing random about how we dress or how we project [ourselves].”

When asked what he does during his time off, Ramirez falters because, well, he can’t remember the last time he had any. But, for an actor, that’s a good thing. “There are no off days,” he says with a laugh. “It’s great to be working and doing what you’re passionate about. I don’t take that for granted at all.” He had just touched down in Los Angeles from Miami, where he presented at the Latin Grammy Awards. The following day, he’ll head to Argentina to film the thriller La Quietud, all while promoting American Crime Story.

On Dec. 22, Netflix fantasy crime drama Bright opens, with Ramirez playing a blue-haired elf, alongside Will Smith’s human LAPD officer and Joel Edgerton’s orc cop. He’s also slated to appear again with Robert De Niro in an as-of-yet untitled flick directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz of Hands of Stone fame.

 

 

Tallia Orange blazer, $375 at Macys; Todd Snyder turtleneck, $278 at Bloomingdale’s, 1000 3rd Ave.; Balmain jeans, $1,290 at Neiman Marcus

 

Suddenly, Ramirez remembers what he likes to do with his free time — although with a schedule so jam-packed, maybe it should be obvious. “When I have a day off, I sleep,” he says. “I love to hibernate.”

Still, he insists that his off-duty time isn’t that different from anyone else’s. “I try to relax. It depends where I am and what activities are available. Exercise, work out, try to catch an art exhibition, whatever is available. Nothing out of the ordinary, honestly,” he says. “What we do is extraordinary, but that doesn’t make you an extraordinary person.”

 

Photos by Williams & Hirakawa, Fashion Editor: Serena French, Stylist: Anahita Moussavian, Grooming: Barbara Guillaume at 
Forward Artists using Oribe, Tailor: Erik Gavrilov for Sew Ponies

alexa BlackBook: Alison Mosshart, Don Lemon, Matthew Modine, Nia Vardalos, Leslie Odom Jr. & More Tell Us Their Christmas Wish Lists

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WISH LIST: ALISON MOSSHART

The musician, artist and sometime-model serves as lead vocalist for indie-rock band the Kills, as well as for Jack White’s supergroup, the Dead Weather.

 

Maria Tash 18-k rose-gold diamond earring, $975 at Net-A-Porter.com

 

“Maria Tash earrings are 
all beautiful, tiny 
and shiny.”

 

 

 

WISH LIST: DON LEMON
New York-based journalist Lemon — who’s won both an Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow Award for his reporting — currently anchors the primetime cable news show CNN Tonight.

 

Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig, $30 at Amazon.com

 

“As a kid, I saw Ali as this iconic figure — this black man who would have people hanging on his every word. 
But I didn’t get just how huge a figure he was until 
I was an adult. Everyone thinks taking a knee is a 
big deal, but think about being Muslim and saying 
you’re not going to fight in a war — jeopardizing 
your career. That took real courage.”

 

 

 

WISH LIST: MATTHEW MODINE
“Scientists estimate that by 2050 there will be more tons of plastic in the ocean than fish,” says Modine, who appears on Stranger Things, streaming now on Netflix. “We have to be responsible consumers. Gifts like this will make your friends eco-warriors and demonstrate how you are hip, cool and a part of the solution.”

 

Bee’s Wrap (three pack), $20 at PatagoniaProvisions.com

 

“These food wraps are the perfect solution for eliminating plastic wrap. The anti-bacterial properties of the beeswax and jojoba oil help to keep food fresh and allow you to use the wrap again and again.”

 

 

 

WISH LIST: NIA VARDALOS
Vardalos is now working on a play called Tiny Beautiful Things in New York. “As holiday shopping season approaches, I’ve eyeballed many corneapopping tiny beautiful things,” she says. “While many of us can’t exactly splurge on fanciful items, we can always drop loud and obvious hints!”

 

“Royal Strass” Swarovski-crystal adorned pumps, $3,995 at ChristianLouboutin.com

 

“If you’re like me and never want disco to die, then we can wear these redbottomed glittery shoes to every office meeting, to every rave and then to church the next day.”

 

 

 

WISH LIST: LESLIE ODOM JR.

Odom Jr., who won the Best Actor Tony for his scene-stealing performance as Aaron Burr in Broadway’s Hamilton, now appears on the big screen in Murder on the Orient Express.

 

Get Out movie poster, $20 at 
Amazon.com

 

“I want a limited-edition Get Out poster framed — and signed by Jordan Peele, please — for my office. I haven’t gone to the theater to see a movie three times in 
… ever. I was entertained and inspired more than I can say. “

 

 

 

WISH LIST: AERIN LAUDER
Lauder is the image director for her family’s Estée Lauder brand, while also running her own popular beauty and home lifestyle company, AERIN.

 

Aspen Style, 
$85 at Assouline.com

 

“This book is high on my wish list. Not only because Aspen is such a special place to me, but also because the cover is so beautiful and will look amazing on any coffee table.”

 

 

 

WISH LIST: ELIZA COUPE
Actress Eliza Coupe, best known for her roles on Happy Endings, Scrubs and The Mindy Project, just returned to screens on the new Hulu series Future Man, directed by Seth Rogen.

 

Luxe gym bag, 
$165 at SweatyBetty.com

 

“I work out like a maniac and go through gym clothes and gym bags like crazy — Sweaty Betty makes the best workout gear!”

 

Illustrations by John Kenzie

alexa Blackbook: Small Screen Sirens

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Jade Eshete, Age 27

 

For her first big TV outing, Brooklyn-born Jade Eshete is joining Elijah Wood on “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” an adaptation of a time-traveling ghost story by Douglas Adams (of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” fame). The series is unlike any other on TV, and returns to BBC America for a second season this fall.

 

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

I started out as a structural engineer in New York City, working on schools and subways, before I made that frightful, but extremely gratifying transition to acting in my mid-20s.

Describe your character on “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

Farah is a total badass and completely unaware of how amazing she is. She’s the muscle of the detective agency, supercompetent, highly trained and a little OCD. Maybe … a lot OCD?

Why should we watch?

It takes the screw-ups, the weirdos, the unpopular and showcases them. They are the lead characters of this show — not the quirky sidekicks — and I find that exhilarating.

What’s something no one knows about you?

I am that random person unabashedly dancing to a Drake and Rihanna playlist on the subway.

Who inspires you?

I used to have a board in my bedroom with things and people that motivated me to get out of bed in the morning: Cicely Tyson, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Liya Kebede, Solange, Angela Bassett, Taraji P. Henson, Prince, my dream house, fashion … and friends.

 

Jude Demorest, Age 25

 

A native of Detroit, Demorest got her start in church — a fertile training ground for song and dance. No wonder director Lee Daniels plucked the musician to lead his new girl-group saga, “Star,” in which Demorest headlines as a street-wise girl looking for her big break.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

At age 5, I played a girl who couldn’t speak in a church play. I told my mother, “In my next play, I’m gonna talk!” And I did!

Describe your character on “Star.”

Star grew up in the foster system, but it didn’t dull her dreams; it gave her the strength to pursue them at all costs. She is the female embodiment of “hurt people hurt people.”

Why should we watch?

It’s a glimpse into pockets of our society you haven’t seen on prime-time TV before. And it’s got musical numbers!

What’s something no one knows about you?

In my first year at college to study political science, I got a call from a music producer in the middle of a final, so I left to meet him. It led to my first record deal.

Favorite item in your wardrobe?

A $1 T-shirt I bought when I was 13 years old that says “Motor City.” I’ve worn it so much it’s entirely see-through, but I will never get rid of it.

Secret to being fulfilled?

The great, late [record exec] Chris Lighty told me, “Don’t compete, just create.” Never compare yourself to anyone. You are perfectly, uniquely enough.

 

Natalie Alyn Lind, Age 18

 

At only 18 years old, Lind has racked up more roles than actors twice her age, including on ABC’s ’80s period sitcom, “The Goldbergs,” and Fox’s “Gotham.” Next up: Fox’s X-Men spinoff, “The Gifted.”

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

Before I could walk. My father [producer John Lind] cast me in a film at the age of 1, and it took off from there.

Describe your character on “The Gifted.”

On the outside, she has this girl-next-door facade, all very perfect — daughter, sister, student — but in fact, she’s a mutant.

Why should we watch?

The show represents a lot of what’s happening in America today, but with a twist: mutants!

What’s something no one knows about you?

I have been in parkour training for three months — everything you see on the show we’re actually doing. And I’m in heels the entire time. My calf muscles have definitely toned up!

Secret to being fulfilled?

A supportive family. Being able to have parents who let me fulfill my dreams is incredible. I’m the oldest of three and my younger sisters are also actors. It’s been so cool to go through this industry with them by my side.

 

Nathalie Kelley, Age 32


 

IF you didn’t catch Peruvian-born Kelley on ABC’s “Body of Proof” or the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” you have another chance with this fall’s reboot of uber-’80s soap “Dynasty,” hopefully replete with the catfights that made the original so enjoyable. Kelley stars as Cristal, a Latina woman marrying into the famous Carrington oil family.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

I had just finished watching Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” and could not stop crying. My mother thought it was because they die at the end, but it was actually because, for the first time in my life, I knew what I wanted to do. I was 12.

Describe your character on “Dynasty.”

Cristal leads as warm and loving, but like any Latina she is feisty when crossed!

Why should we watch?

It’s fun, but we also touch on a lot of socially relevant issues like fracking and immigration — so it’s a not-so-guilty pleasure.

What’s something no one knows about you?

My dad trained me and my brother to memorize complicated equations when we were 5 to impress friends at dinner parties. Much to his disappointment, I flunked math in high school.

Go-to show or movie to cheer yourself up?

Is it weird that it is “The Constant Gardener?” Director Fernando Meirelles shows how politics and themes of social justice can intersect with amazing filmmaking.

Who inspires you right now?

Gandhi and MLK. It sounds trite, but love is really the answer.

 

Jessica Paré, Age 36

 

BEFORE her breakout role as Megan Draper on “Mad Men,” Montreal-born Jessica Paré had accumulated an eclectic resume of roles, from Napoleon’s mistress to a pop singer-turned-vampire. This fall, she returns in CBS’s much-hyped “SEAL Team,” about a unit of the elite military force.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

My dad [a drama teacher in Montreal] played Prospero in “The Tempest” when I was 11 or 12, and I loved running lines with him.

Describe your character on “SEAL Team.”

Amanda Ellis is a CIA analyst who is always watching, threading a narrative together from multiple sources. She’s mysterious.

Why should we watch?

We’re trying to offer a unique perspective, exploring the human lives of the oft-mythologized Tier One operators. Action and feelings, you guys!

What’s something no one knows about you?

I was going to say the fact that I always take my pants off in my trailer at lunch, but I just found out that it’s an open secret. Which makes me feel weird.

Favorite item in your wardrobe?

A 1940s black velvet dinner jacket that belonged to my grandmother. Close second are the Megan Draper dresses that managed to make their way to me.

Secret to being fulfilled?

Lowering your standards. That sounds depressing, but I mean it in the best way. We just can’t be at 100 percent all of the time, so holding oneself to the highest standards 100 percent of the time is going to leave you falling short.

Who inspires you right now?

Angela Davis, Alicia Garza, Issa Rae, Iggy Pop and all of my castmates, but particularly Toni Trucks.

 

Margarita Levieva, Age 37

 

A Russian-born gymnast who moved to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, at the age of 11, Levieva studied economics at NYU before launching her acting career, notably landing a role in the 2009 Jesse Eisenberg- and Kristen Stewart-helmed film, “Adventureland” a few years later. Having burnished her credentials with recurring roles on ABC’s “Revenge” and NBC’s “The Blacklist,” she now turns up on David Simon’s hotly tipped HBO drama, “The Deuce,” starring 
James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

When I was 5 years old I saw Maya Plisetskaya dance the Black Swan in “Swan Lake” at the Bolshoi Ballet. There was no human on that stage. Just an extraordinary, powerful, graceful swan. That kind of transformation moved me deeply and I knew that I wanted to be a performer.

Describe your character on “The Deuce.”


Abby is young, fierce, intelligent and curious. In the first season, she’s hungry to find her own voice. She’s tired of the status quo and is searching for her place in this wild, potent time in NYC history.

Why should we watch? 


It’s David Simon. Early 1970s. The beginning of the porn industry in NYC. Need I say more?

Go-to show or movie to cheer yourself up?


“The Golden Girls” — works every time.

Favorite item in your wardrobe?

An old worn-out cashmere sweater that my dad bought for me in Paris, before he passed away.

Secret to being fulfilled?

It’s simple and a bit Hallmark-y, but doing things I love with people I love.

Who inspires you right now?

People over 90 falling in love.

 

Jade Esthete Photo by: Taylor Jewell, Hair & Makeup: T. Cooper using Ecru New York, Location: Sofitel New York 45 W. 44th St. New York, NY

Margarita Levieva Photo by: Matt Doyle, Stylist: Danielle Nachmani at The Wall Group, Hair Stylist: Brian Magallones at Tracey Mattingly, Makeup Artist: Nina Park at The Wall Group, Location: Dream Midtown

Jessica Pare Photo: Cliff Lispn/CBS

Other Photos by: Bjorn Iooss/Trunk Archive, Kenneth Willardt/Trunk Archive, Jean-Claude Vorgreak.

In Bed With Netflix and Armond White

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Foreplay: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

Gen X moviegoers have an ongoing debate over which film is the best John Hughes teen movie or who is the most identifiable Hughes movie character. But Ferris Bueller always comes out on top. The story of a whip-smart high school student playing hooky behind the backs of his suburban Chicago parents strikes an irresistible chord of rebellion in everyone who beholds his antics. Hughes kept the sarcasm coming, along with the rebellious sneaks’ fear of being found-out. Above all, Hughes celebrated the All-American thrill of FREEDOM—those carefree opportunities to do whatever you pleased before the soul-deadening obligations of adulthood reared their stop signs. Let eggheads boast about J.D. Salinger preventing Hollywood from ever filming Catcher in the Rye. Fueller Bueller would kick Holden Caulfield butt, then bounce from backyard to backyard like in John Cheever’s classic short story “The Swimmer.” Plus, it’s the greatest role of Matthew Broderick’s career.

Press Play: Gentlemens Agreement (1947)

Is this 1947 Best Picture Oscar winner merely a solemn lecture on the inhumanity of ethnic prejudice? No, it’s also one of the most elegant, sly and subtly sexy melodramas in Hollywood history. Gregory Peck plays a crusading journalist pretending to be Jewish in order to expose bigotry in high place. He falls in love with a tradition-bound Wasp aristocrat (Dorothy Maguire) while he is pursued by a chic urban career woman (Celeste Holm). John Garfield plays Peck’s Jewish best friend. Romantic tension only intensifies the moral issues. This is the quietest movie that the legendary Elia Kazan ever directed. Kazan and his cast knew how to underplay for maximum effect. (Peck and Maguire have a knock-down drag-out fight while whispering!) Everyone who watches this groundbreaking film comes away wanting to be glamorous and open-minded, too.

Playtime: Patton (1970)

This is the vehicle that won George C. Scott the Best Actor Oscar that he famously refused. (Goldie Hawn was the flabbergasted presenter.) The film could also be called “Irascible” which fits the character Scott portrayed: General George S. Patton commanded the U.S. Seventh Army during World War II, defying his superiors yet winning the war of weapons and wills. The unforgettable opening scene shows Patton giving a lecture to troops (to us). He is an icon of indomitable, profane American heroism and, harsh as he is, he’s funny and likable–talking tough in front of the largest America flag ever to stretch from one side of the silver screen to the other. That image—along with Scott’s gruff, macho delivery—is unforgettable. Director Franklin Schaffner scales the rest of the movie BIG. It’s to match Patton and Scott’s egos.

Watch the Intense Trailer for Will Smith’s ‘Collateral Beauty’

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The trailer for Will Smith’s new drama, Collateral Beauty, has arrived, and between the mournful piano in the background and dramatic shots of dominoes cascading along a tabletop, we’ve got serious chills.

The film follows Howard Inlet, who, after losing his child, begins writing letters to the universe, begging for answers and an escape. The world responds in the best way we can think of, by sending such divine creatures as Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley to aid in the process of his grief. The movie is directed by David Frankel and the cast rounded out by such stars as Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris, and Michael Peña.

In the video, Smith twirls his deceased child around at a park, stands solemnly in an elevator, and yells at Keira Knightley. If this isn’t Oscar fodder, we don’t know what is.

Collateral Beauty comes to theaters December 16.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers Rocks as Joe Strummer in Clash Film ‘London Town’

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The little punk inside our hearts is rocking out to the first trailer for London Town. The Clash-inspired film is a coming-of-age story about a young boy who receives a tape of “White Riot” in the mail from his long lost mother. The film depicts the rise of punk against the social and political backdrop of the UK in the late ‘70s.

Daniel Huttlestone gives a charming performance as a teenage boy at the dawn of the ‘80s while Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the second coming of Joe Strummer. The film features music be Buzzcocks, The Stranglers, Toots and the Maytals, Willie Williams, Stiff Little Fingers, and of course, The Clash.

London Town opens in theaters and on iTunes and VOD on October 7. Watch the trailer below:

Tom Ford’s ‘Nocturnal Animals’ is a Fashion Noir Thrill Ride

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Tom Ford’s highly anticipated sophomore go at filmmaking has finally culminated in a chic noir thriller. Seven years after his beautiful film adaptation of Christopher Isherwood’s 1964 gay novel, A Single Man, the fashion icon returns to film as writer and director of Nocturnal Animals. This one stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced couple discovering each other’s dark secrets.

As is standard for a critically acclaimed box office attraction, a teaser for the film’s teaser has recently been released. Although it’s just an announcement prefacing the actual teaser trailer which should be online today, it’s enough to have us hooked on the stylishly seductive world that Tom Ford has created.

Check out the first sneak peek of Nocturnal Animals below:

An Inner Child’s Guide to Roald Dahl’s Best Films for His 100th Birthday

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Growing up, Roald Dahl’s books and movies were some of our favorites. Witches and peaches and everything in between, he had a way with imagination even as an adult. From ages 1 to 100, we can appreciate the treasured classics he created.

Today would be the children’s book author’s 100th birthday. Make it a marathon and celebrate with these four classics:

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka 3

What child hasn’t watched this one in awe? An excursion through a factory of magic candy is the ultimate fantasy. We all wished for a golden ticket in our candy bar wrapper long before we checked the mail for our invitation to Hogwarts. And while the Tim Burton remake with Johnny Depp was a success, there’s no denying that Gene Wilder was born to play the part of Willy Wonka.

The Witches (1990)

Witches 5

This one was slightly darker. It almost scarred us for life when we realized Anjelica Huston could ever be anything other than a supermodel. Another cautionary tale of chocolate, the thought of turning into mice was almost enough to swear it off for good… almost. It also featured Jane Horrocks before Absolutely Fabulous as a witch with a heart of gold.

Matilda (1996)

Matilda 2

This was basically the prequel to Carrie but with a much happier ending. Instead of burning down a school gym, she just puts some adults in their place and makes everyone happier. She also has fun with Cheerios in one of the best scenes from our childhood. It’s safe to say that most of us walked around pretending to have developed telekinesis after seeing this one.

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Giant Peach

Another tale of neglectful adults, another Absolutely Fabulous cameo. If you ever wanted to run away as a child, this film made you want to run away in a giant peach with a ragtag gang of insects. It was the ultimate adventure with amazing animation while the world was still in awe of Toy Story.