If Australian Psycho wasn’t enough for you, check out the original American Psycho director Mary Harron narrating one of the film’s greatest scenes. Herron describes, for the New York Times‘ Anatomy of a Scene series, the violent masculine urges lurking beneath this suited exchange of business cards. Never has card stock and lettering been so anxiety-inducing. Everyone’s the same, the cards are practically identical, yet the rage growing beneath Christian Bale’s pore-perfect face, at the mere thought of inferiority, is palpable.
Margot Robbie, the Australian who married and pussy-heel-teased teased Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street and has the “best part” in Warner Bros’ upcoming Suicide Squad franchise (complete with a spinoff of her own), now adds psycho to her resume.
Australian Psycho, that is, in Vogue‘s play on American Psycho, featuring the ingenue’s morning beauty routine. Perhaps this—re-enacting iconic male roles—is a new rite of passage for young Hollywood starlets, like acting across significantly older leader men (Will Smith in Focus), and mocking her own engorged celebrity sex appeal (see cameo in The Big Short).
It’s Aussies like Robbie that really do make being blonde look like more fun. Watch, below:
Who did it better? Watch Christian Bale’s American Psycho routine, below—he might even be prettier:
Kanye West’s PR team must be high-fiving each other in the office this Monday morning. Not only has a slightly premature Yeezus leak days before West’s grandiosely-named, hard-edged sixth album drops gotten everyone talking about it even more than they already were (and the consensus seems to be pretty favorable, with West generating praise for taking some artistic and content risks), but he and Kim Kardashian welcomed their daughter over the weekend. That kind of publicity one-two punch is the stuff of which Hollywood dreams. And whether the timing was deliberate or not, Kanye and Kim are definitely having a very good week.
Jay-Z, on the other hand, chose today to announce an upcoming studio effort. Now, this doesn’t seem like great timing for him, in the middle of the Yeezus hype firestorm. If you were Jay-Z, wouldn’t you wait a week to make that announcement to when the attention has slightly dissipated from the new album and baby of the living rapper with whom you are most closely associated? Ah, well.
Also surfacing over the weekend at the Yeezus wall-projection viewing and listening parties was a brew promo video for the album, featuring West’s new pals, Kim Kardashian’s brother-in-law Scott Disick and longtime friend Jonathan Cheban. The short clip directly borrows from the notorious “Do you like Huey Lewis & The News?” scene from American Psycho, putting Disick in the role of Patrick Bateman and Cheban as Paul Allen, and with West inspiring the sinister monologue instead of Huey Lewis. Although much is the same, the ponderous “New Slaves” gives the clip a different sort of feeling than “It’s Hip to Be A Square” would have. Watch the American Psycho promos, from the various viewing-party projection screenings in L.A. and D.C., below.
It’s a rite of passage for president and poseur alike: an extended AMA (Ask Me Anything) session over on the landfill of pop culture called Reddit, perhaps more commonly known as the place BuzzFeed steals all its crappiest ideas from. Twitter genius Bret Easton Ellis touches down this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST, according to the author himself. Below, some ideas about what to ask him.
From Springtime For Hitler to Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, musical theatre has long been a comfortable home for performances about history’s greatest monsters. Now, with a new production at the Almeida Theatre in London this December, one of contemporary fiction’s most nightmare-inducing figures will hit the stage.
Novelist Bret Easton Ellis, along with the writing team of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Duncan Sheik and director Rupert Goold, are bringing American Psycho, Ellis’ novel about Patrick Bateman, a high-living investment banker with a monstrous and murderous mind, to the stage. And as part of their crowd-funding campaign, they’ve made the first excerpt of music from the show available for your listening pleasure.
“I don’t know,” asks Bret Easton Ellis in the show’s Kickstarter video. “Why am I trusting these people with my work?” He goes on to say that he thinks Patrick Bateman would be “flattered” to see his story made into a musical.
And, as the creative team notes, not only is song an effective route at unpacking the psychology behind a character like Patrick Bateman, but music is essential to the American Psycho narrative, so in fact, a musical version totally makes sense. “The guys are at the gym all the time,” Aguirre-Sacasa says in the video. “That begs for a musical number.”
And thankfully, this is not a jukebox musical in which Bateman’s victims are dramatically slaughtered to Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” or Huey Lewis and the News’ “It’s Hip to Be Square.” Duncan Sheik, who you may recall from the ‘90s hit “Barely Breathing” or, more recently, the music from the hit rock-musical Spring Awakening, wrote the score for the upcoming production. The music of the ‘80s informed many of the sonic creative choices, lots of analog synthesizers and other typical sounds of the era.
The video ends with a clip of one of the musical’s original numbers, a deadpan, synth-heavy ode to the high fashion houses Bateman loves called “You Are What You Wear.” The track recalls the spoken part of Madonna’s “Vogue” and a little bit of Gary Numan’s “Cars,” and you can hear the whole thing if you kick in $5 to the project. And that fiver is just a drop in the bucket considering the team is trying to raise $150,000 for the production. Find out more about the fundraiser and the musical itself in the video below, or at their crowdfunding page. And who knows? Maybe you can grab dinner at Dorsia before the big performance.
I don’t think it’s serendipity that I walked to work this morning with "I Want a New Drug" in my head. Instead, it’s probably because of all the press releases I’ve received lately announcing the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Huey Lewis and the News’ Sports. Who knows where the time goes? (Also, please sign up for my mailing list, because I’ll send PR blasts in a few months about my thirtieth birthday.) Many of you young kids might know the song because the Ghostbusters theme ripped it off, or, possibly, from Christian Bale’s monologue in American Psycho. Thank goodness Huey Lewis himself has a good sense of humor about the latter and teamed up with Funny or Die and "Weird Al" Yankovic to parody the cult-classic.
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The album art for L.A. duo Kisses’ sophomore album, the apparently autobiographical Kids in LA, is a bit like Bret Easton Ellis filtered through a Wes Anderson lens. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the first single, “The Hardest Part,” is a song that would be on the soundtrack of the twee version of American Psycho. Perish the thought.
The full-length won’t arrive till May, despite being inspired by “the starkness of wintertime in Southern California,” as evidenced in this album teaser, which reveals a slyer, more atmospheric side of their music—at least in comparison to the usual no-nonsense dance pop. Could ’80s nostalgia be overtaking ’90s love once more? Quick, someone write a highly ignorable 3,000-word essay on that.
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Duncan Sheik, the ’90s singer-songwriter ("Barely Breathing," in case you needed a reminder or, more likely, a name attached to that song), won two Tony Awards for his work on the sexy German schoolchildren musical Spring Awakening a few years ago. And he’s trying his hand at musical theater once again, this time with an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s modern classic, American Psycho. The musical will hit the London stage later this year, and hopefully will get a run on Broadway.
Gothamist talked to Sheik about his work on the show, which sounds a lot more promising than one might imagine:
The music is all electronic. You know, the conception of it, at least on my end… I kind of feel like, you have Broadway musicals, and you have the sound of the Broadway musicial—Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Cats—and then in some way there was a transition away from that. Spring Awakening [which Sheik scored and won a Tony for] happened, you had American Idiot, Next To Normal, Memphis… this whole set of things using more contemporary, guitar-oriented rock music. For me, I feel that’s a shark that’s been jumped. So the idea of doing a score that’s completely electronic, that’s exciting to me. You’re being progressive about the form, you know, rather than saying, ‘Well people like listening to rock music now in the theater.’ That’s not so interesting to me… it’s really important that you do new stuff. I want to attempt to do stuff that’s moving it forward. As opposed to repeating a successful formula.
At first, I thought, "Oh, no one should ever compare their musical theater ambitions to those who were responsible for Cats, Phantom, or Memphis, but I have to say: an electronic music-focused musical sounds pretty awesome, especially given the subject matter of the show. Oh, and don’t worry; Sheik promises a little Huey Lewis and Phil Collins in there, too.
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The news that Lionsgate is working on an American Psycho remake is, uh, strange. First of all: the original came out barely a decade ago. Secondly: really? As if one trip through the world of Patrick Bateman wasn’t enough, Lionsgate hired Noble Jones, who previously worked as a second unit director on The Social Network, to write and direct the film. There’s no potential casting or release date, so maybe this thing will die in development, as greenlit remakes often do. Won’t the studio eventually remember there’s another Saw movie to make? Oh yeah, they will.
The original Bret Easton Ellis novel explored all the dark corners of the prototypical ’80s capitalist mindset. From murdered prostitues to kitten-jammed ATMs, the movie put it all on screen. So it’s hard to see what a remake could do other than make a commentary on modern excess, which is just the same old excess repackaged by millennial gloom. (Like bankers have gotten that much greedier?) Replacing Christian Bale with some hip young thing is another tantalizing option, I guess. Channing Tatum? Zac Efron? There are oceans of possibilities. They can even update the music references for the iTunes generation. Do Huey Lewis and the News become Coldplay? Yeah, they become Coldplay.
Below, a Lego re-enactment of the scene where Jared Leto gets killed with an axe (the real one is mysteriously embedding-disabled). Always fun!