Spike Lee Doesn’t Like Gentrification And Has Some Opinions About It

Filmmaker Spike Lee has strong feelings about things. Here’s a man who once compared Tyler Perry to Amos n’ Andy and said that Clint Eastwood ought to have an encounter “with a .44 Bulldog.” Spike Lee grew up in Fort Greene in Brooklyn; the neighborhood is his creative muse, and his production company 40 Acres and a Mule was established there. (It’s since moved to Manhattan.) So on the topic of gentrification, Lee doesn’t mince words on the “motherf*cking hipsters” gentrifying Brooklyn.

Lee spoke last night at an event at the Pratt Institute in honor of African American History Month, going off on how the neighborhood has changed. While fielding questions, Lee was asked a about “the other side” of the gentrification debate. Lee responded by saying:

“Let me just kill you right now, because there was some bullshit article in the New York Times saying ‘the good of gentrification.’” (The article was titled: Is Gentrification All Bad?)

Don’t believe me? You can listen to it here:

Or read the entire Lee gentrification rant below as transcribed by New York Magazine:

Here’s the thing: I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the south Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better? The garbage wasn’t picked up every motherfuckin’ day when I was living in 165 Washington Park. P.S. 20 was not good. P.S. 11. Rothschild 294. The police weren’t around. When you see white mothers pushing their babies in strollers, three o’clock in the morning on 125th Street, that must tell you something.

[Audience member: And I don’t dispute that … ]

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. And even more. Let me kill you some more.

[Audience member: Can I talk about something?]

Not yet.

Then comes the motherfuckin’ Christopher Columbus Syndrome. You can’t discover this! We been here. You just can’t come and bogart. There were brothers playing motherfuckin’ African drums in Mount Morris Park for 40 years and now they can’t do it anymore because the new inhabitants said the drums are loud. My father’s a great jazz musician. He bought a house in nineteen-motherfuckin’-sixty-eight, and the motherfuckin’ people moved in last year and called the cops on my father. He’s not — he doesn’t even play electric bass! It’s acoustic! We bought the motherfuckin’ house in nineteen-sixty-motherfuckin’-eight and now you call the cops? In 2013? Get the fuck outta here!

Nah. You can’t do that. You can’t just come in the neighborhood and start bogarting and say, like you’re motherfuckin’ Columbus and kill off the Native Americans. Or what they do in Brazil, what they did to the indigenous people. You have to come with respect. There’s a code. There’s people.

You can’t just — here’s another thing: When Michael Jackson died they wanted to have a party for him in motherfuckin’ Fort Greene Park and all of a sudden the white people in Fort Greene said, “Wait a minute! We can’t have black people having a party for Michael Jackson to celebrate his life. Who’s coming to the neighborhood? They’re gonna leave lots of garbage.” Garbage? Have you seen Fort Greene Park in the morning? It’s like the motherfuckin’ Westminster Dog Show. There’s 20,000 dogs running around. Whoa. So we had to move it to Prospect Park!

I mean, they just move in the neighborhood. You just can’t come in the neighborhood. I’m for democracy and letting everybody live but you gotta have some respect. You can’t just come in when people have a culture that’s been laid down for generations and you come in and now shit gotta change because you’re here? Get the fuck outta here. Can’t do that!

And then! [to audience member] Whoa whoa whoa. And then! So you’re talking about the people’s property change? But what about the people who are renting? They can’t afford it anymore! You can’t afford it. People want live in Fort Greene. People wanna live in Clinton Hill. The Lower East Side, they move to Williamsburg, they can’t even afford fuckin’, motherfuckin’ Williamsburg now because of motherfuckin’ hipsters. What do they call Bushwick now? What’s the word?

[Audience: East Williamsburg]

That’s another thing: Motherfuckin’… These real estate motherfuckers are changing names! Stuyvestant Heights? 110th to 125th, there’s another name for Harlem. What is it? What? What is it? No, no, not Morningside Heights. There’s a new one.

[Audience: SpaHa]

What the fuck is that? How you changin’ names?

And we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin’ Do the Right Thing with John Savage’s character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin’ Out’s sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can’t do that. Not in Bed Stuy.

So, look, you might say, “Well, there’s more police protection. The public schools are better.” Why are the public schools better? First of all, everybody can’t afford — even if you have money it’s still hard to get your kids into private school. Everybody wants to go to Saint Ann’s — you can’t get into Saint Ann’s. You can’t get into Friends. What’s the other one? In Brooklyn Heights. Packer. If you can’t get your child into there … It’s crazy. There’s a business now where people — you pay — people don’t even have kids yet and they’re taking this course about how to get your kid into private school. I’m not lying! If you can’t get your kid into private school and you’re white here, what’s the next best thing? All right, now we’re gonna go to public schools.

So, why did it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better? Why’s there more police protection in Bed Stuy and Harlem now? Why’s the garbage getting picked up more regularly? We been here!

All right, go ahead. Let’s see you come back to that.

Imaginary City: Tom Sanford’s New York

Tom Sanford has a keen painterly eye for the grotesque excesses of our day, from Walmart stampedes to the perversely sexy idiocy of Sarah Palin. But for his latest exhibition, "Café des Artistes"–opening Saturday night at Kravets/Wehby Gallery in Manhattan–he’s keeping things more personal, and local.

"I wanted to make a show about my home, New York, and where my imagination meets my day to day experience in the city I love," he says. "I named the show after the now defunct café in the lobby of Hotel des Artistes, the ultra-posh apartment building on 67th and Central Park West. I think of these paintings as ones that might hang in a café like that."

The exhibition includes ten portraits, of the likes of Bill T Jones, Tina Fey, and Jonathan Lethem, as well as three "genre paintings, where extraordinary characters are inhabiting rather ordinary situations." And below, Sanford shared the stories behind four of these works with me.

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The Mayor (Michael Bloomberg) 
"I really love Bloomberg, both as a character in the unfolding drama of the city, and as the Mayor. It may not be the politic thing to say right now given recent dissatisfaction with some of his more divisive policies, but I will really miss him. I would like to raise a very small can of Coke to Mayor Mike."

 
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The Deli on Broadway 
"This is a painting of the Fancy Food deli that I used to go to several time a day when I had a studio on Franklin street (2006-2010). I basically survived on the beer and deli sandwiches I bought there. I would often see both Mike D of the Beastie Boys and Steven Powers (aka ESPO) in the deli.  I am a huge fan of both of these guys and was totally geeked to see them up close, but too nervous to say hi. I decided to make Spike Lee the deli guy because I had to find a way to work him into the show. Casting him as the deli guy seemed sort of jarring and inconsistent with type casting; he really should play a pizza guy, like Mookie from Do The Right Thing.

 
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The Chef (Marcus Samuelsson) 
"I think of this painting as a sort of key to the whole show, thematically speaking. I painted the famed chef and restaurateur in profile, hoping to suggest the New Yorker’s well-known logo, Eustace Tilley. In this case I replaced the monocle that Tilley peers through with a piece of Samuelsson’s wonderful ‘fried yard bird’ and a beautiful and enigmatic butterfly perched on top; a magical realist version of the 125th street and Lenox subway platform."

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The Bar on 2nd Ave (Carlo McCormick)
"This painting is a pretty clear recycling of Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. In my version the most excellent art writer and champion of the LES scene, Carlo McCormick, tends bar at Lit Lounge, as he is known to do from time to time. The mysterious man who Carlo is serving is revealed through his reflection in the mirror to be the late artist and graf writer Dash Snow." 

 
Tom Sanford’s Café de Artistes" is on view at Kravets/Wehby Gallery, 521 West 21st Street, from September 7–October 12. The opening reception is Sept.7 from 6-9pm.

See the Official First Poster for Spike Lee’s ‘Oldboy’ Remake

Fresh off the heat of his English-language debut—the thrilling and seductive Stoker, we’re reminded that director Park Chan-wook’s most acclaimed and beloved film is finally going to have an American remake of its own. But hese days, it’s difficult to get excited about the incessant remakes and Hollywood adaptations—but when it’s Spike Lee, we’ll make an exception. And with the new retelling of Director Park’s Oldboy, we’ll see Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley in a film penned by Mark Protosevich.

Described as both "provocative and visceral," Lee’s adaptation will see Brolin as  an advertising executive who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. And now, FilmDistrict has released the official new poster for the "Spike Lee Joint" that showcases the 20 marks for 20 long years. 

Oldboy will hit theaters October 11th, so in the meantime check out the poster below and brush up on the original to get yourself acquainted.

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Personal Faves: The Man Behind the Music, Dev Hynes

Instead of ending the year with a slew of Best Of lists, BlackBook asked our contributors to share the most important moments in art, music, film, television, and fashion that took place in 2012. Here, Natalie Alcala writes of the big year for multi-hyphenate wunderkind, Dev Hynes.

One rainy September night during London Fashion Week, a who’s who of style influencers swarmed the Liberty of London boutique for a Kenzo fête hosted by the Parisian label’s new creative directors, Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim. Just as open bar debauchery began to form, gravitating guitar sounds beckoned partygoers to the stage, where an exceedingly stylish fella in a red suit and a black leather baseball cap held their eardrums captive for the rest of the night. Meet Devonté "Dev" Hynes.

Although the Texas born, British bred multi-hyphenate musician performed as Blood Orange that night—and most nights these days—he’s also been known as Lightspeed Champion. "It’s all the same shit really," says Hynes of his various guises. "I just use different names to help aid people’s minds." Mind aiding is necessary for those not accustomed to the 26-year-old’s mad scientist-style skills, which include wizardry on the bass, guitar, cello, drums and violin, writing and producing songs for the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Diana Vickers, and Theophilus London, and working with celebrities like former Saturday Night Live funny lady Kristen Wiig (who could forget that "Rock My Body" duet from the MacGruber soundtrack?).

But even virgin ears at the LFW party that were unfamiliar with the wunderkind and his impressive body of work, were instantly hooked to Hynes’ retro-infused rock, funk, folk and soul vibe—a sound that’s impossible to pigeonhole. "I only care about melodies and chords, which is why my music is all over the place," Hynes explains. "But if you listen carefully, nothing is really changing too much, aside from aesthetic." His delightfully scattered sounds led to a host of opportunities this year, including a tour with Florence + The Machine and a hot-ticket gig composing the soundtrack to Kenzo’s Paris Fashion Week show.

The Blood Orange takeover didn’t stop there. Hynes is also the mastermind behind Sky Ferreira’s single "Everything is Embarassing," which was recently named "Song Of The Year" in the culture issue of New York Magazine. "I wrote it at my piano only thinking about Sky singing it," Hynes reveals. "The song is about what I was imagining my girlfriend, who I was going through a break up with at the time, was thinking of me. I love Sky’s voice so I was definitely writing imagining her and only her singing it." The result? An infectiously melancholy ’80s-inspired pop ballad that’s the new anthem for the brokenhearted: "Maybe if you let me be your lover/Maybe if you tried then I would not bother." (Bonus: Watch Hynes performing the song himself at the Grimes show a few weeks ago here.)

Of all of the artist’s personal, professional, and recreational highlights this year, which also include attending a screening of Spike Lee’s Bad 25 documentary ("I didn’t think in 2012 it was possible for Michael Jackson to change my life again") and the Knicks’ knock-out opening run ("It’s crazy!"), Hynes considers his work on Solange Knowles’ new 7-track EP, True, his finest accomplishment. "Finishing the Solange record felt great," says Hynes of Beyoncé’s little sister’s hypnotic third record. "We’re both people that have a hard time knowing when something is finished because we could tweak it away forever. But realizing that it was done, and how happy we felt about it, was a great feeling." Since its release on November 27, True has received tons of buzz for its funky first single, "Losing You," which Knowles and Hynes recently performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, complete with badass choreographed dance moves. (Yes, Hynes can dance, too.)

While Dev Hynes, Blood Orange, Lightspeed Champion, and whatever clever name he dreams up next will certainly continue to slay the music game through 2013 and beyond, I can’t help but wonder what the multi-talented dude would have done if he didn’t have this gift. "I always wanted to be a biographer when I was younger," he says. "But in reality, I’d either be playing football [Ed note: or "soccer" for the Americans folks] still, or tennis." Yes, tennis. And although he’s worked with just about every established and emerging artist under the sun—who might he be interested in collaborating with next, either in real life or fantasy form? "It would have to be the late avant-garde dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham." Of course. And if all this—the music, the fame, the fun, the recognition, the world—suddenly ends today, what does Hynes want to be remembered for? "A grand ol’ laugh!"

Luke James Talks Writing Songs, the State of R&B, and ‘Whispers in the Dark’

Fresh off his packed-house performance at SOB’s in New York, and in the glow of his recently and readily downloadable, smooth-operated mixtape Whispers in the Dark, Luke James is not just your next R&B heartthrob: he’s suited up to be one of the next great masterminds of music with both production and singing talents in spades. As "Who Is Luke James" is the seducing veneer of his internet presence (follow him on Twitter at @whoislukejames), you’ll be well advised to directly listen to his incandescent collection of abundant affection, compassion, and empathy for the open-hearted.

I talked to James about the making of what you’re about to hear, his take on the state of R&B, movies that remain influential to his craft and how James wishes to be understood as a kind of Prince the Redeemer for the forgotten sake of letting love rule for the new year and in later days. (And to reiterate again, ladies, he is a dreamboat.)

I did a little research and I came across the fact that you were a songwriter before you launched your solo career. I was curious to know what were some of your favorite songs you’ve written for other people? Like you almost wished you kept that song for yourself!
I loved the Justin Bieber song "That Should Be Me" that I co-write with The Messengers. Great record. I dealt with the song, so naturally it was a great feeling. And it kind of felt like something I would want to do as an artist myself. There’s one I did with Chris Brown: "Crawl." Love that one. And the song I did with Tank off of his latest album, "This I How I Feel." It has a really good vibe.

So you are Grammy-nominated this year! I wanted to know, how does it honestly feel like to be nominated. Keep it real! Are you truly happy just to be recognized, or do you really just want to win?
I’m thrilled to be acknowledged, especially for this gift and this talent I’ve been working so hard on. To be acknowledged and be seen as a vocalist and performer, and to be in a category of Best Male R&B Performance, is awesome, and especially by the Grammy committee—that’s the height of our music business. It’s awesome.

And specifically for a song that the fans online have been referring to as a "panty-dropping" single! I read comments and the female fan base is just growing. They seem to really appreciate and adore your appreciation of women all-around.
Wow! I’ll definitely try to keep that going!

Tell us more about the album title Whispers in the Dark. It’s enigmatic enough to lead someone to think, "Well, what does he mean by that?" But also, it makes sense in that if you’re in the dark, you’re not trying to make a lot of sense—most likely—so, it can be interpreted quite a few ways.
Well, Whispers in the Dark is a line I used in a song I have on my official album, and the song is basically like, “Whispers in the dark tend to you call you where you are.” Put it like this: at night, I deal with my demons, whatever that is, good or bad, and it’s usually those voices you hear that make you recognize them; they’re calling you. I’m speaking from personal experience, but I feel like other people can relate to having those voices in your head and usually that happens when you’re alone, and that nighttime. That kind of vibe and of the unknown. You can’t see what’s there. [Laughs] Does that make sense?

Yeah, yeah it does! And I figured that, too. I just wanted to hear from you directly on and from the album’s perspective. I had my own idea?
And what was that?

Whispers in the Dark to me meant… just a very secretive moment whether with yourself or with someone, and you wouldn’t necessarily mind getting caught, either. And it doesn’t have to something physical that is happening. Just in the sense that someone just caught you; someone could potentially catch you.
Well, that’s exactly right! There are so many different ways of taking it. People always ask me about my music, “What do you want people to take from it?” It’s whatever makes them happy. Whatever feels good to them. As long as they take something.

That definitely leads to the next question, and it’s kind of a two-parter. I did see the video for "Make Love to Me," which I enjoyed and I peeped that Kelly Rowland cameo! But from watching it, I knew I wanted to ask you: do you consider yourself an old soul? While watching it, I was thinking, this is some Gerald Levert, Barry White, with a little bit of Marvin Gaye, and you kind of remind me of Prince, too.
I’ll take that!

And I thought of that because it’s not like today’s contemporary R&B where—and this is where the second part comes in—everyone seems to have an opinion on the state of R&B. Trey Songz said this; I interviewed Ne-Yo about it and he said it lacked soul; but when I was watching your video, you’re modern, but you also seemed to be harkening back to the greatness of traditional R&B, and I was just wondering about your thoughts on that. 
I pride myself on feeling. I can’t do it if I can’t feel it and I guess that exhibits through me. My thing is if I feel it, people can feel it. Also, I’m from New Orleans, and you’ll meet a lot of people of New Orleans, everybody from people we know like Lil Wayne to everyone else, that’s just the way people are raised. The way that city is, that part of town. It’s a very laid-back, soulful kind of place and I think naturally, that’s just how we are, I’m not the only one; it’s the upbringing. I’m surrounded by older people. I was just put on to a lot of things a lot of classic music early on and I guess it just came a part of me. That’s just how people are from New Orleans. And I also just really respect classic, great music of the past. They really laid out the foundation for actual feeling and in giving yourself completely without repercussions. It’s just saying, "I’m hurting." And people want to hear that.

And the state of R&B… I feel like you can’t judge art. Everybody has an interpretation. And this is a business. People got families to feed. So if you’re not buying the organic-feeling songs that everybody professes they want, but they’re not supporting it and want to freeload on, you can’t get mad at that person for switching to something sellable for the moment at least because it is a business. If you buy that kind of music, people will make what I like to call those personal songs. And when creating them, you’re taking a chance because not everybody’s going to play it, but in actuality, everybody cries. But I guess radio, and the labels, they aren’t willing to give it a chance. People haven’t been supporting that in the past. It takes a whole union of people to do it. One person can’t do it alone. One person can’t be speaking some knowledge and then other people are just trying to have a good time. Everybody has to be on the same, be promoting the same feeling. Let’s make music that you can feel and they will. Let’s say or teach somebody something. What’s going on? Let’s actually talk about what’s going on aside from the club. There’s life after the club.

Do you feel your music is more sexual, sensual, or atmospheric? How would you describe it?
It’s very emotional. Highs and lows. Ups and downs. I like "sensual." "Sexual" seems so physical. But I do think it’s a little bit of both. The mental, it’s soulful, and can be a physical thing. I would love for anyone listening to my music to start [feeling it] on the inside.

As for the songs on the mixtape, which ones were difficult to create? Or took a lot out of you emotionally?
The song "Oh God." I had that song, that composition from Danja. He had produced it. I had to live with it. When I first heard it, I had a structure, melody, and hook idea. But it just wasn’t happening for me and I had to put it back in the oven. Just wait for it to come to me. And one day I went back into the booth, and did it. It was tough.

And now a common question. What can we look forward to from you next year in 2013?
Oh, man! Hopefully a lot more Luke James! I am still working on the project [my debut LP]. Everyday, everyday. I’m learning something new, so I’m just going to keep recording until the official release date. Keep promoting myself and hopefully join this new movement of great music and new faces that are coming and just helping music transition to a more beautiful place where everyone is somewhat pleased. I’m also getting into acting and hopefully that will be something that will jump off.

TV or film first?
I would love to do film.

What are some of your favorite movies?
Mo’ Betta Blues. The Lost Boys. Purple Rain. Glory. I like different genres of movies. I like Manhattan by Woody Allen. I love his movies because they’re kind of cerebral. He’s almost like a contrast to Spike Lee, yet I find their films similar.

Both often based in New York City…
I like Spike Lee movies too. That’s where I’m at.

Is there a genre of music that you haven’t toyed with and experimented with yet and would like to? Because again, from the video and mixtape, I was thinking it was jarring to me—in a good way—how it sounded so different from stuff I hear today and it’s why I compared you to those legends. And I thought, "I wonder if he would ever do a song with David Guetta?"
With the music, I always want to take it to another level. Another foundation. It’s got to be like a dream. Where else can you take it? That’s how I want my music to feel. I like a vibe, and I don’t care if it takes seven minutes long to express it. It’s music. So, I don’t know… maybe alternative. I like to think of my music as classic R&B with the alternative and spiritual. I merge those things. Like Coldplay has a lot of soul. You can tell those boys went to church. Those songs just take you somewhere. Those chords, and how Chris [Martin] sings certain lines and what they say. And I just think my interpretation is all of that. I think everything I love you hear it in the music. And when the actual album comes out, you’ll hear more of where I want to go.

Last, last question! You touched on this earlier, but possibly explain more. What do you want your female fans—and male fans, too—to get from you?
One thing I want to say is that it’s OK to feel. We live in such a numb world, but it’s still a feeling because we know it’s numb. We fight it, but it’s OK to express your feelings and know what you want. Go for it. Life is too short to not fully live. I’m learning how to be in the moment and just say like, "Wow. I’m nominated for a Grammy. This is awesome." To really bask in it instead of being like, "OK. Nominated for a Grammy. What’s the next thing?" I’m trying to hold in on my feelings and become one with it. So, if I had anything to say to both the guys and the girls is that it’s OK to feel. It’s OK to rock side to side and say, "Oh my God, I love this." It’s OK to scream. At shows, people can be so uptight! And I move around a lot because I get so into my music. But also, I’m hoping I can help you guide your way out of that very thing you’ve been used to, to this new thing that is not really new. You expressed yourself when you were a child. You weren’t afraid to cry and express your feelings. Now that you’re older, we have this tough skin so we don’t show anyone we’ve got feelings. We’re human. And once people become more humanized, the world will be a better place, more full of love. If that makes any sense. Let’s make this fun again. Have fun, dammit!

Sacre Bleu! The Ten Most Infamous Moments of Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival, now in its 65th year and currently underway (it wraps the 27th), is known for red carpet fashion, parties, unjust Palmes, and outrageous accusations and statements made by auteurs against either the system or other directors. We’ve compiled a timeline of the most outrageous moments in Cannes history. 

1954:  Breast in Show
B-movie actress Simone Silva (who died when she was 29, we learned while reading her sad Wikipedia page) posed topless in photographs for her honorary title “Miss Festival 1954” with Robert Mitchum. To a world unfamiliar with breasts or Robert Mitchum, this was quite a scandale.

1969: Easy Riders
Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, and Co. showed up at Cannes and pretty much peed and drank their way through the town. Hopper, who was in the heyday of his hard-living, took home Best First Work, thereby legitimizing both independent cinema and doing lots of drugs. 

1985: A French Witticism!
It wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last time that an international director gets a faceful of pie. But when New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard was pied in the face by a Belgian journalist, he simply licked his pie off his cigar and said, "C’est ce qui arrive quand le cinema muet rencontre le cinema a textes," which translates to, "This is what happens when silent movies meet talking pictures."

1989: Do the Wrong Thing
When Spike Lee didn’t win the Palmes d’Or for Do the Right Thing (which went to Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies, and Videotape)he blamed jury president Wim Wenders. Mr. Lee left the festival saying that at home he had a Louisville Slugger with Wenders’s name on it.

1991: Europoops
Lars von Trier brought his film Europa to Cannes, which won the Jury Prize. Upon the realization that he did not win the Palme d’Or (which went to the Coen Brothers for Barton Fink) and actually shared the Jury Prize (with Maroun Bagdadi for Out of Life), he stormed out of the festival brandishing his middle finger and publicly called jury president Roman Polanski a midget.

2001: Real Life Bloodsport
To celebrate the screening of 24 Hour Party People, the four actors portraying members of real-life punk band Happy Mondays took to the beach, where they pelted each other with dead pigeons.

2007: Unbeelievable
Jerry Seinfeld arrived at the festival mid-air dressed as a bee to promote Bee Movie, that year’s computer-animated clunker.

2009: The Triumph of the Balls
A herd of naked cyclists, led by Belgian director Felix van Groeningen, descended upon Cannes to promote La Merditude Des Choses (The Shittiness of Things). It didn’t win.

2011: The Great Hitler Debate
Lars von Trier, no stranger to Cannes controversy, created a fury when he suggested that he sympathized with Hitler. If anything, he managed to get powerful performance out of Melancholia star Kirsten Dunst as she fidgeted uncomfortably next to him at his press conference

Linkage: Beyoncé Named ‘Most Beautiful,’ TLC To Take Holographic Left Eye on Tour

This photo of Beyoncé’s feet — swollen from pregnancy but still corn-free! — proves without a shadow of a doubt that Bey deserves that "World’s Most Beautiful Woman" crown. [People]

Black Hippy’s Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q throw one down for the internet with "SOPA," off of Ab-Soul’s forthcoming album Control System. [Fader]

According to TMZ, T-Boz and Chili are planning a "massive" TLC reunion tour for later this year, and they want to take the late Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes with them — as a hologram. This is, it would seem, all happening. [TMZ]

Spike Lee’s "return to form" film Red Hook Summer is set for a late-summer start, with an official release scheduled for August 10th via Variance Films. [IndieWire]

An original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sketch, drawn in 1983 by one of the series’ co-creators for just a "laugh," has hit the auction block for a very reasonable $6,000. [BestWeekEver]

Miley Cyrus has a closet full of kimonos that she needs help organizing — do we have any volunteers? [MileyCyrus/Twitter]

Afternoon Links: Rick Ross Gets To Keep His Name, Lindsay Lohan’s Probation Ends

● A Los Angeles County Superior judge has tossed drug kingpin "Freeway" Rick Ross’s case against Rick Ross the rapper, leaving Rozay free to be just as he is. Ruh! [TMZ]

● Lindsay Lohan’s formal probation has at long last come to an end. And to celebrate, Lindsay has wisely opted for a quiet dinner with her sister, Aliana. Things are looking better already. [NYDN/TMZ]

● Diplo and Snoop Dogg are recording a reggae album together. According to Diplo, Snoop Dogg is "singing and he’s doing a f—ing awesome job and I never knew it, but he had his heart in every song." Okay! [CoS]

● Do you hear that sound? It’s the RIAA singing from rooftops because music sales are up—although just barely so, with an increase of only .2 percent—for the first time since 2004. [THR]

● The Cartoon Network is taking a trip down memory lane with their new classic cartoon block Cartoon Planet, featuring old favorites like The Powerpuff Girls and Johnny Bravo. [HuffPost]

● Spike Lee apologized today for too eagerly re-tweeting the wrong address for Trayvon Martin’s shooter, George Zimmerman. Now back to hoping he doesn’t get sued anyway… [DailyIntel]

Morning Links: Snooki Might Actually Be Pregnant, Ryan Murphy’s Mega-Musical

● Turns out, Snooki might actually be pregnant and just waiting on the right tabloid cover deal to make the announcement. Will Snooks be the first non-teen to be pregnant on MTV? Or the first meatball, certainly! [Page Six]

● Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have welcomed their third, little boy bundle of joy, into the world. [Us]

● Meryl Street donated a generous $10,000 to a school in Viola Davis hometown in Rhode Island, perhaps as a ‘Thank you’ or even an "I’m sorry" for taking that best actress Oscar. [Reuters]

● Elizabeth Olsen has been offered the female lead in Spike Lee’s Oldjoy remake. [SlashFilm]

● This sounds too good to be true, but: Glee‘s Ryan Murphy is said to be planning a mega-musical comedy called One Hit Wonders that will star Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Beyoncé and Andy Samberg. [Deadline]

● Whitney Houston’s death has been ruled an accident, and "not a result of deliberate action taken by Houston—or anyone else." [E!]

● Young Jeezy hung out with Betty White back stage at Conan, and there are pictures to prove it. Oh, the places you’ll go. [Rap-Up]