Uniqlo, Dior Make the ’75 Things New Yorkers Talked About in 2011′ List

If you’re wondering what you and your peers talked about the most this year but don’t have the time to revisit your Twitter feed, then you’ll appreciate the latest best-of list compiled by The New York Times. "The 75 Things New Yorkers Talked About in 2011" features a variety of buzzworthy subjects that just about every human being has weighed in on in the last 12 months. From Uniqlo’s can’t-miss ads that featured figures like Tumblr founder David Karp (pictured), to the Dior new head designer guessing game, the list is sure to provide you with a generous dose of fashion, pop culture, and political nostalgia to get you through today.

Other sartorial highlights from the roundup include the number-crunching Alexander McQueen fashion exhibit at the MetElizabeth Taylor‘s record-breaking Christie’s auction, and Lady Gaga’s gender-bending take as Jo Calderon during the MTV Video Music Awards. See the complete list here.

Empire Strikes Back: Six Films to Commemorate the Fall of Rome

 

"Are we like late Rome," asked social critic Camille Paglia, "infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?" As you mull the answer to that question, raise your gladius and drain the Etruscan vino from your amphorae: It’s time to commemorate the fall of the Roman Empire.

It was today in 476 AD when the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, was deposed by the Germanic warlord Odoacer and the Roman Empire drew its final wine-soaked breath. Here’s a look at some of the best movies set in what was certainly one of the most violent and depraved times in human history (notwithstanding our own, of course).

Caligula (1979)

Penthouse founder Bob Guccione filmed scenes for this controversial 1979 Italo-American biographical drama about the famously debauched emperor who somehow managed to clear his head long enough to become the first Roman commander to invade Britain since Julius Caesar did a century before.

Gladiator (2000)

Joaquin Phoenix proved to be a perfect slimeball as the Emperor Commodus (which I’m guessing means "toilet" in Latin) in Ridley Scott’s exuberant epic also starring Russell Crowe as Maximus, a general who became a slave, who became a gladiator, who defied an emperor, who won an Oscar for Best Actor.

Spartacus (1960)

Remember those movies before the era of CGI and huge battle scenes required filming thousands of extras—and not just a small crew of computer programmers? It was like if you had to film an epic, the production itself had to be, well, epic. Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas in the title role, was one of those films. For the battle scenes, 8,000 extras were pulled in from the Spanish infantry to play Roman soldiers. Ingeniously, Kubrick recorded 76,000 spectators at a Michigan State vs. Notre Dame college football game shouting "Hail, Crassus!" and "I’m Spartacus!" for the climactic scene.

Cleopatra (1963)

For her portrayal as the Egyptian queen and lover of Roman general Mark Antony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz 1963 epic, Elizabeth Taylor won the Guinness World Record for "Most Costume Changes in a Film." (She had 65 different outfits.) Perhaps if she had spent less time worrying about her clothes, she wouldn’t have lost the Battle of Actium. But then we wouldn’t get to see her commit suicide by snakebite.

Agora (2009)

"If I could just unravel this just a little bit more, and just get a little closer to the answer, then…I would go to my grave a happy woman," said Hypatia, considered to be the first significant female figure in the world of mathematics, as played by Rachel Weisz in Alejandro Amenábar’s 2009 Spanish English-language film Agora. Accused of instigating religious tension, Hypatia was killed by a Christian mob. Later, her legacy among Christians changed and she became a symbol of virtue. In her 1986 book Women Philosophers in the Ancient Greek World: Donning the Mantle, Kathleen Wider argues that her murder marked the end of Classical antiquity. Stupid, stupid evil mob!

History of the World, Part I (1981)

In one of the many awesome scenes in Mel Brooks’s 1961 comedy classic, Bea Arthur plays a government worker at an unemployment insurance collection window. It was an inspired casting choice: Not even the dumbest gladiator would dare mess around with Maude.

Manolo Blahnik Says Today’s Actresses Are ‘All the Same’

We know who won’t be wearing Manolo Blahnik heels at this Sunday’s 85th Academy Awards. In a recent Q&A for the March issue of Interview, the iconic footwear purveyor quips that the starlets of today are difficult to disinguish. " I don’t even know Amanda Seyfried or whatever—they’re all the same! I try to remember—the only one I remember is Julia Roberts because she’s particular. Anne Hathaway… Pretty? Yes. Wonderful actress? Yes. But, I mean, I don’t even remember her. What is it about her?" Ouch.

Blahnik goes on to say that Hathaway was really good as Cat Woman in The Dark Night Rises but he just doesn’t remember her. So, who are the stars that Manolo does like? "I almost fainted on that girl, the tiny woman from France, no, from Mexico… Salma Hayek," he tells Tim Blanks. "But she’s a sweet girl, beautiful. I love that. This is what I really love: Where are those girls? I was looking the other day, Lara Flynn Boyle in Twin Peaks and that other girl Sherilyn Fenn—they’re old-school girls like Elizabeth Taylor, and I think that’s so fabulous." Peep the complete interview here

Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West Next to Assume the Roles of Taylor and Burton

Back in November, a little movie premiered on Lifetime called Liz & Dick, starring Lindsay Lohan as the legendary Elizabeth Taylor (and getting the look down, at least) and depicting her tumultuous relationship with actor Richard Burton. This movie had a metric ton of hype surrounding it, and everyone and your mother probably live-Tweeted it (except for our own Tyler Coates, who preferred to enlighten us on all the things he watched that weren’t Liz  & Dick). And it happened, and it was bad. And not even, like, so-bad-it’s-good, Rob-Lowe-as-Drew-Peterson bad—it was just dull.

Anyway, there’s going to be another biopic about Burton and Taylor—appropriately titled Burton and Taylor—that will premiere on BBC4 this fall, with Helena Bonham Carter and BAFTA winner Dominic West stepping into the titular roles. Unlike the more comprehensive and montage-y Liz & Dick, Burton and Taylor will focus more closely on 1983, when, years after their second divorce, the stormy couple starred opposite each other in a production of Noël Coward’s Private Lives, a play, incidentally, about a divorced couple reuniting. It’s an interesting time and place to focus on, maybe better than trying to cram such a dramatic real-life relationship into a Lifetime movie. You can already hear the Internet’s cries of praise and relief at an alternative to Liz & Dick. But this will probably get painfully overhyped too to the point where it’s not even worth watching the live-tweet stream of it.

Here’s the Trailer for That Lindsay Lohan Liz Taylor Biopic

“They drink, they fight, they fornicate,” we are told about 15 seconds into the trailer for Liz & Dick, Lifetime’s much-hyped glittering mess of an Elizabeth Taylor biopic. And we will probably be headed towards a national conversation about how Lindsay Lohan’s portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor mirrors her personal life and struggles and that thing where she called out Amanda Bynes and then hit someone with her car, and parts of it will probably be problematic and send various factions of the Internet into Parent Trap and/or Mean Girls nostalgia k-holes. But we’ll get to that later—for now, this movie is a thing and it is almost here and if nothing else it will make for an entertaining evening. 

In Liz & Dick, which hits your small screens November 3rd, Lohan and New Zealand actor Grant Bowler (True Blood) play Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, respectively, with a focus on the most glamorous and laviscious and destructive parts of their relationships. Some of the acting will probably be bad solely by virtue that it is a Lifetime movie, but for what it’s worth, from first impressions, Lohan seems to have taken to the role well, or at least certainly better than fellow recent Lifetime movie alum Rob Lowe assumed the role of Drew Peterson. Also, just for the exchange, "You’ve just ended your fourth marriage?" "Oh, who’s counting?," this trailer is worth watching. 

Lindsay Lohan Dissed By ‘Liz & Dick’ Co-Star

Being in the same zip code as Lindsay Lohan sounds like it might be trying at times, so we cannot imagine what it would be like to be her costar. Her Liz & Dick co-star Grant Bowler, a sexy Kiwi who really doesn’t look a damn thing like Richard Burton (but that’s OK), got blabbypants on a red carpet and told a reporter that working with LiLo has been "challenging." You don’t say!

Bowler chatted with Beyond The Trailer at Comic-Con and confirmed he may need a bit of of media training. When asked how it was working with Lindsay, he didn’t hold back. "It was challenging. Lindsay’s Lindsay and it is always going to be that way," he said. "She brought a lot to the table. Every day, it was, we stepped up to the plate, looked each other in the eye and tried to be truthful to the material and the spirit of those two people as they could."

The reporter then suggested any on-set troubles may have helped the cast "get into character," given how the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton had a notoriously volatile relationship. Bowler still took the bait. "The reality of that relationship is, and was, that was an incredibly tempestuous, tumultous relationship," he said. "They fought as hard as they loved and they loved as hard as they drank."

Right up Lindsay’s alley, eh?

Grant Bowler, you are going to get yelled at by some Lifetime executive (and also mama Dina Lohan). But I like you.

What to Expect from Carine Roitfeld’s Elizabeth Taylor Tribute in ‘V’

September 8 may be the first day of SS12 NYFW, but it also the marks the launch of another fashion event we’ve been eagerly awaiting: V magazine’s V73 The Heroes Issue, styled by Carine Roitfeld. The conceptual style rag teamed up with the former Paris Vogue editor (and current Barney’s fall campaign star) to style a 72-page salute to Elizabeth Taylor. Today a preview of the Mario Testino-snapped shoot emerged, and, as expected, it features models styled in classic looks from the late great starlet, punctuated with modern flair. Watch Roitfeld hard at work (:05) in a video teaser after the jump.

The cropped-hair-and-crisp-shirt look on the model above was inspired by Ms. Taylor’s menswear appreciation phase, which we featured here. Fingers crossed that there’s a Cleopatra moment in the spread, too.

Carine Roitfeld to Tribute Elizabeth Taylor in ‘V’

The fashion world has been keeping a close watch on Carine Roitfeld’s every move ever since she announced her resignation from French Vogue. Thanks to a number of unexpected side projects, it’s been quite a show. Her latest undertaking is especially exciting: According to WWD, Roitfeld is styling the September issue of V magazine – and she’s dedicating the entire issue to Elizabeth Taylor.

Shot by Mario Testino, the epic 72-page editorial will likely feature a number of the legendary starlet’s iconic looks. However, because it’s Roitfeld, we’re expecting some kind of cool twist (besides the requisite Roitfeld cigs). Although Ms. Taylor was no doubt a style icon, she also, as Roitfeld explains, “had the kind of elegance that went far beyond clothes.” Perhaps the issue’s tribute will go far beyond fashion, too.

Morning Links: Beyoncé Surprises Young Dancers, Elizabeth Olsen Earns Praise for New Trailer

● Not to detract from Barack’s week of winning, but Michelle’s “Let’s Move!” campaign is the best ever, right? For its most recent video, Beyoncé surprises some girls dancing to her “Move Your Body.” It’s officially cute. [YouTube] ● Khloe Kardashian seems to think using egg whites as lubricant can speed up the baby-making process. [HollyBaby] ● Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have chosen particularly, uh, inspired names for their twins: Moroccan Scott, as in “the Moroccan-inspired decor of the top-tier of Carey’s apartment” and Monroe Cannon, after Marilyn Monroe, Mariah’s inspiration. [Huff Post]

● Elizabeth, the other Olsen, wooed Sundance this year, winning high praise for her two debut films. If the trailer for Martha Marcy May Marlene is any indication, the praise was well deserved. [Vulture/NYM] ● “Brando allegedly annoyed his traveling companions by insisting on stopping at nearly every KFC and Burger King they passed,” reports Vanity Fair of Marlon Brando’s unlikely escape from New York after 9/11. Those annoyed travel companions? Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson. [Vanity Fair] ● Three 800-pound bronze animal heads by Ai Weiwei were unveiled at the Plaza Hotel. The Chinese artist remains detained in his homeland. “Beauty and inspiration are irrepressible; they are alive in every human heart – in every nation – and wherever an artist creates Ai Weiwei is there,” mused Mayor Bloomberg, who was there for the occasion. [Metropolis/WSJ]