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- 12/10/14--08:57: _John Waters on Toy ...
- 12/10/14--09:00: _Concerts Go Online ...
- 12/10/14--10:22: _10 Other Awesome Th...
- 12/10/14--12:03: _Stream Four New Jam...
- 12/10/14--13:00: _Ronika's "Marathon"...
- 12/10/14--13:30: _Top Ten Twitterbots...
- 12/10/14--13:45: _Nicki Minaj Drops a...
- 12/10/14--14:39: _Thanks to the New Y...
- 12/10/14--15:00: _25 Perfect Gifts Fo...
- 12/11/14--08:00: _Bathe Yourself in W...
- 12/11/14--08:38: _Nicki Minaj and Bey...
- 12/11/14--09:00: _Drag Stars, Faceboo...
- 12/11/14--09:45: _These 10 Albums Wil...
- 12/11/14--10:00: _Listen to Diplo, Ed...
- 12/11/14--10:30: _The 10 Best and Wor...
- 12/11/14--12:00: _The 10 Worst Kinds ...
- 12/11/14--12:30: _Watch Kim Kardashia...
- 12/11/14--14:30: _A Danish Artist Use...
- 12/12/14--06:50: _Watch Beyonce Talk ...
- 12/12/14--08:26: _Nicki Minaj's "Only...
- 12/10/14--09:00: Concerts Go Online While Tumblr Goes IRL
- 12/10/14--10:22: 10 Other Awesome Things Diddy Could Have Said After Punching Drake
- 12/10/14--12:03: Stream Four New James Blake Tracks Off 200 Press
- 12/10/14--13:30: Top Ten Twitterbots You Should Be Following
- 12/10/14--13:45: Nicki Minaj Drops a New Song Featuring Meek Mill
- 12/10/14--15:00: 25 Perfect Gifts For the Best Dude In Your Life
- 12/11/14--08:38: Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé Team Up Again for "Feeling Myself"
- 12/11/14--09:00: Drag Stars, Facebook's "Fake Name" Controversy and the Rise of Ello
- 12/11/14--09:45: These 10 Albums Will Haunt Your Dreams in 2015
- 12/11/14--10:30: The 10 Best and Worst Movies Of 2014
- 12/11/14--12:00: The 10 Worst Kinds of New Yorkers
- 12/12/14--06:50: Watch Beyonce Talk Feminism, Marriage and Blue Ivy in a New Video
- 12/12/14--08:26: Nicki Minaj's "Only" Music Video is a Weird Sex Party
Photo by Greg Gorman
For the third year running, we're thrilled to present A Very Papermag Holiday Q&A with John Waters. The gloriously trashy filmmaker, artist, writer, performer and PAPER Original Gangster is currently touring his Christmas show, which stops New York on the 14th, but he graciously took our call in Portland, Oregon. Even with a grueling road schedule and an ear infection, Waters was full of his usual warmth and wit. If anyone south of the North Pole can save Christmas in these turbulent times, it's him.
How's the tour going so far?
So far, pretty well. I have an ear infection, but I just pretend I'm Johnnie Ray.
Christ, how did that happen?
I don't know. Original sin.
I noticed that the tour is really just West and East Coast...
I think last year I played Chicago, Atlanta -- I played a lot of the middle last year. So a lot of times, unless it's a really big city, always wait a year before you go back. Although last night in Portland it was sold out and I was there the year before, so you never can tell. But it's going great. I have 17 cities, that's enough!
Have you encountered any demonstrations in the last week?
I went past -- where was I? I think it was L.A. -- and I saw maybe 20 people with signs saying, "I can't breathe," and I thought, Wow, this is a far cry from the demonstrations I remember. I have not seen a big one, but I haven't been in Baltimore and I know there were some there. And you don't expect to see big demonstrations in San Diego, to be honest.
Do current events affect your performances?
Oh yes, I have right-up-to-the-minute current events. Every year I collect the world's worst toys -- this organization puts out WATCH, World Against Toys Causing Harm. And this year, one of the toys is a SWAT machine gun that they recommend for five and up, and they say, "Warning: Law officials could mistake this for the real thing." Oh great! Let's give it to a black kid for Christmas! It's shocking to me. I'm amazed at what still goes on in the world, so current events are always a big part of what I talk about at Christmas. And they always seem more severe at Christmas.
Yeah, the contrast...
I'm a big fan of the Satanic Temple, which just won the right in, I forget where, in Tennessee or somewhere [it's Tallahassee, FL] -- the state capitol has different nativity scenes, so they sued so that they could put their atheist thing in there, and they won, and it's an angel plunging into hell. Which they have to put next to all the religious ones, which I think is hilarious.
Look up Satanic Temple. It happened this week, so that is already in my show. I'm a fan of theirs anyway because they perform "pink masses" where they go around the country and turn the formerly heterosexual spirits of their dead enemies gay, which I find delightful. They did that to Fred Phelps' mother.
Did you do a Christmas show back in 2001?
I don't remember. The first one I ever did was at the Castro Theatre and I think it was 11 or 12 years ago. Could I have? Probably. I was in New York when 9/11 happened. I certainly remember it, yes. And I was there that whole week; you couldn't leave, really. I live in the Village, so I could see the buildings on fire from my street. I'm glad I was in New York for it because I really felt part of it, with the whole city sort of bracing for it.
I also wanted to hear a bit about the show this year...
Oh, I added new stuff; I always add new stuff! On the first night, I had the flu and I was in San Francisco with a sold-out audience in a place I had never played, and it came out the right running time, I remembered everything -- I don't use notes -- and my promoter said, "Wow, you've got a lot of new material!" And so now it's fine, but the first night you never know.
Do you do meet-and-greets after the show?
Sometimes, and I always refer to that as the Lap Dance. It's so weird that almost everywhere has that now. That started in the country-western world, and now they all do it. When I sign books and T-shirts and do the whole thing, it's great because you really do get to meet your audience, and I have a really cool audience. They all look great, and I'm always amazed at how young they get. They seem to get younger and I get older; I can come out and say, "I'm older than Santa Claus, definitely." But old chickens make good soup.
You talked to my colleague Elizabeth last year about the dream John Waters Christmas special and who would be your guests. Back then, it was Bieber and K-Fed...
This year I have One Direction reimagined as a tumbling act, and Miley Cyrus, not on salvia, on bath salts, doing human contortion acts like the human pretzel, rolling around the stage like a wheel.
Amazing. Some day that is actually going to happen.
I know it is.
Tell me about your Christmas card this year.
It's an advent calendar: you open 24 windows of weird little pictures. It's my favorite one ever. Get Kim to show you hers.
Like with perforated little tabs? Are there chocolates or something in there?
No, there's different weird pictures -- everyone from Sal Mineo to Mrs. McMartin to a "Pope Shot" headline, and the reason I have that is because the Pope forgave his assailant and their friends.
You also have your own Christmas album. Can you recommend a few others?
Well, I always like all the jazz compilations, the ones like Cool Yule and Downbeat Christmas and all that kind of stuff, but I have a huge collection of them at home. I play Justin Bieber's Christmas album. But I talk about wishing that Ol' Dirty Bastard had one, or what if Future Islands had one this year? Imagine Sam Herring singing "Little Town of Bethlehem" in that great growl.
What about your favorite books of the year?
Definitely My Struggle and definitely all the novels of Elena Ferrante. She's my favorite, and they're both similar; I think both books are their struggles. I saw the fourth one's coming out [in the My Struggle series]. Hurry up! I finished the first three. Lazy translators -- get busy!
Last question: what are you looking forward to in 2015?
Well, the next thing for me is a big art show called Beverly Hills John that opens January 9 at the Marianne Boesky Gallery. So that is the first thing for me in 2015. And then other than that, oh god, I'm scheduled for the whole year already, so a moment's calm is what I'm looking forward to.
Are you going to get that?
Find info on A John Waters Christmas here
Illustration by Declan McCarthy
Maybe you're too young to drink, or too drunk to drive. Perhaps you love music but balk at shitty sightlines and $8 beers. It's a dilemma that the Internet has looked to resolve since streaming video first became a bufferable reality, and the rise of livecasts like Boiler Room and SPF 420 suggests that the live experience can survive in digital translation. Tumblr has taken the opposite tack, bringing the spirit of its vivid images and twitchy GIFs to a live setting -- offering, simply put, Tumblr In Real Life. Launched last year, Tumblr IRL teams musicians with artists to create hyper-engaging multimedia experiences. For Childish Gambino's IRL, designer Brian Roettinger recreated the rapper's childhood bedroom at Rough Trade; Snarkitecture celebrated Chromeo's White Women album with The White Room, a color-averse installation at Milk Studios. The result of this layering of sight and sound, digital and physical? Nate Auerbach, Tumblr's "music evangelist," explains: "With the visual accompanying the music, fans get to experience each album with more 'feels,' as our users call them." More feels -- pretty much exactly what the live experience has been about all along.
Scored on a scale of emotion and drama, Diddy's final words were A+, but even Diddy can admit that Drake is the reigning king of both of those realms. With that in mind, we thought that we'd humbly offer up some insult-to-injury suggestions culled straight from Drake's own lyrics. Here's 10 other things that Diddy could have said after punching Drake, below.
1. "Take care!"
2. "Wish you would learn to love people and use things, and not the other way around."
3. "They always say the hottest love has the coldest end!"
4. "Why do you hurt me?"
5. "It ain't about who did it first. It's about who did it right."
6. "...I drove in the snow for you"
7. "I was a cold dude, I'm getting back to my ways."
8. "I got my eyes on you."
9. "No new friends!"
10. "Wu-tang forever!"
After @horse_ebooks was revealed to be human way back in 2013 we had a lot of questions, mainly: could any Twitterbot fill the horse-shaped hole in our hearts that was left behind? Maybe not, but it's always good to try! So here are our suggestions for ten Twitterbots to follow to make your feed a little less boring and a little more weird.
In the spirit of Joseph McCarthy this bot will respond to tweets that seem suspiciously communist. It's like following your grandfather who's suspicious of liberal politics, but without any of the weird family dynamics to worry about.
I see red people RT @dhz26 Just used the phrase "day-dreaming, European socialist, marijuana-smoking liberals"-- Robot J. McCarthy (@RedScareBot) December 10, 2014
A play on the now defunct @everyword Twitter account, this account is in the midst of tweeting every word in the dictionary with the word "C Y B E R" in front of it. And it's only in the C's so we have a long time to enjoy this account (also a shoutout to @ghost_things, @everypunk and @everywordisgay for following a similar pattern -- they're in our hearts, too).
ＣＹＢＥＲＣＲＥＭＡＴＯＲＩＵＭ-- ＣＹＢＥＲＥＶＥＲＹＷＯＲＤ (@CyberEveryword) December 9, 2014
This bot tweets out nonsense in the form of William Carlos William's poem "This Is Just To Say."
I have blundered the blends that were in the prairie Forgive me They were purposeless so and and so swank-- This Is Just to Say (@JustToSayBot) December 10, 2014
Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture Wikipedia article edited anonymously from US Senate http://t.co/gCbKRlBvdw-- congress-edits (@congressedits) December 10, 2014
Have you ever wanted to know what people in Congress do in their free time? Apparently, they edit Wikipedia articles. This bot tweets every edit to any Wikipedia article from IP addresses in the US Congress. The results swing between charming and terrifying.
This bot needs way more love. @onlymanthings tweets out puns you'd expect your token bro friend to make when his masculinity is threatened. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing.
I don't overreach, I BROverreach.-- men only (@onlymanthings) December 10, 2014
While this Twitter account isn't as active as most of the others on this list, the sporadic updates of this shark are a masterpiece. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like: an average shark doing average shark things.
Swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim swim-- The Average Shark (@TheAverageShark) November 30, 2014
"I am a messy, messy, messy mess."-- Drunk (@stylinsonlovee) December 10, 2014
This bot doesn't create tweets, but instead retweets them. It's programmed to retweet two random, rhyming, iambic pentameter following tweets next to each other. Their timeline is basically an extended and postmodern poem.
Dreams can reveal the feelings you suppress-- Evan Almighty (@IRREL_EVAN_T) December 10, 2014
While at first glance this account looks like random phrases, it's actually the ramblings of people who posted on alien forums on the early web. What could be more beautiful than the musings of conspiracy nerds in the late 90's and early 2000's?
I was approached 20 years ago by a government agency representative proposing psychic experiments to stop the heart of a pig. ☝7/3/98-- alt.alien_txt (@altalien_txt) December 8, 2014
@wikisext is probably one of the most coherent bots you can possibly stumble upon. Merging the popular faux-sexting tweet format and Wikihow articles, it creates weirdly poetic, endearing and sometimes genuinely touching tweets.
sext: i pick out my priorities while you softly realize that indecisiveness is also my decision-- how 2 sext (@wikisext) December 8, 2014
Sound the alarm! A new Nicki Minaj song has surfaced! The new track, titled "Big Daddy" and featuring the fresh out of prison Meek Mill, includes some not so subtle nods to Nicki's long-simmering beef with Iggy Azalea with lyrics like "Your time is ticking, you bitches time here is shorter than Vine vids," directly following a reference to Australia. The audio clip, ripped straight from its radio premiere, also includes some pretty entertaining DJ drops and sirens. Give it a listen, above.
We can't say that this concept makes very much sense -- but we can assure you that It's not as creepy as it sounds. The New York Times magazine has made a tradition of year-end silent films, and this time they've called upon the year's best actors to pair up and makeout for your viewing pleasure: among others, the internet's boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch gets intimate with Reese Witherspoon, Rosario Dawson and Jenny Slate share a cute NYE kiss, and Kristen Stewart gets real emotional with Chadwick Boseman. Watch Rosario Dawson and Jenny Slate's New Year's Eve moment and the rest of the clips in the playlist, below and over at the NYT's site.
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An old Mercedes, windows down, parked on the edge of Griffith Park at sunset. Inside, two kids wearing extremely shaggy coats sing in telepathic harmony while the one in back plays shuffling accompaniment, somewhere between T. Rex and '70s George Harrison, on an acoustic guitar. It's weird to think that the song has another life as track #1 on a big, lavishly produced EP called Candy, out last month on Interscope. The man behind it all (and the guy in the back seat) is Garrett Borns, an L.A. dweller whose October single "10,000 Emerald Pools" has racked up almost 300,000 SoundCloud listens. Joining him is Zella Day, a fast-rising artist in her own right. The two of them met while singing around a campfire, as you do.
This version of the song is part of a series of acoustic videos captured live all over the place -- an unusual way to promote a big electric pop release, maybe? "Whenever I write music, I want to make sure it'll translate as stripped down as possible," Borns says. "The acoustic version really shows the vulnerability of a song, and I like that. I hope people find the song first like that and then hear the recorded version."
Look for a BØRNS full-length and a tour with Misterwives next year. BTW, Borns' and Day's coats are by Spell and Beulah, respectively. Both came from Day's closet. "We looked at each other and were like, 'That's kind of rad,'" Borns explains. "Shaggy yeti style."
You can finally take the "Flawless" remix off repeat because Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé are baaaack with "Feeling Myself." Four days away from the release of The Pinkprint, Nicki Minaj has already shared a bevy of songs from the album, but this is the best track we've heard so far (because BEYONCÉ). Give the ode to self-love a listen, above.
Two: a few weeks after the initial flare-up, at a City Hall press conference, two Facebook employees turned up wearing shirts emblazoned with #MyNameIsRoma. "I was like, 'I don't even have one of those T-shirts!'" Roma says, speaking over the phone in late October. "It was fierce."
To date, Facebook has made some meaningful changes, including more sensitive language on the site (although you can still report a user for having a "fake name"). But if you're wrongfully kicked off Facebook, pretty much your only recourse is to contact Roma, who's given over much of her recent life to getting accounts reinstated -- a process outpaced by the efforts of the "fake name" trolls. Facebook maintains that its name policies keep predators and hate-mongers off the network, but even Roma, who's confident that Facebook will make deep changes eventually, can't ignore what she calls "the green elephant in the room."
Neither can Paul Budnitz, whose ad-free social network, Ello.co, launched in early August. "You know why they really do it?" he asks, taking our call at company headquarters in Burlington, Vermont. "Facebook isn't really a social network; it's an advertising platform. The customer is really the advertiser, and when your customer is the advertiser, everything you do is either to get more data or to show more ads. If Facebook knows your real name, you're really, really valuable to them."
Ello requires nothing more of each new user than an email address. As of late October, it was fielding about 40,000 membership requests per hour. But while Budnitz says that "the LGBTQ community basically helped us launch our site" (he recalls a new user writing, "Welcome the gay community! We have a history of coming into neighborhoods and making them expensive and nice!"), there's no sign of a defection big enough to scare Facebook. On both sides of the "fake name" debate, it's all about the numbers: Facebook wants its precious user data, and Roma, like most of us, wants her comments and likes.
Roma has a lot of respect for Facebook, but she also has a functional long-term memory. "Hello, remember Myspace?" she says. "Remember Friendster? Facebook is huge right now, but what will it be tomorrow? They need to come to the party and realize that some of their policies are not working." Given the history of social media empires, it's not unthinkable that a new network like Ello might someday approach the lumbering goliath, #MyNameIsRoma T-shirt straining across its chest, that is Facebook.
Meanwhile, our choice -- between privacy and convenience, between online Bushwicks and Times Squares -- is nicely contained beneath Ello's manifesto (which ends, "You are not a product"): two black buttons, marked "I agree" and "I disagree," sit at the bottom of the page. The latter takes you to Facebook.
Earlier this week, we posted our guide to up-and-comers who're all set to blow up next year. We'd now like to turn our attention to 10 bands and artists who've been around the block, maybe smashing a pop chart or co-creating a genre (disco, post-punk) along the way. We cannot wait to get our hands on the albums they're putting out in 2015.
Sleater-Kinney: No Cities to Love
Jan 20, Sub Pop
The entire indie-rock universe breathed a collective "No fucking way" back in October, when the Olympia-bred punk trio Sleater-Kinney, who'd disbanded in 2006, announced a new album hot on the heels of a box set of their seven previous LPs. Yes fucking way: Sleater-Kinney was -- is! -- one of those rare bands that has it all: chemistry, raw passion, conviction and, perhaps most important, (rock n' roll) fun. Judging by the two new songs they've shared, Sleater-Kinney 8.0 involves anthems about the urgency of friendship, plus trippy guitar pedals.
Jan 26, Castle Face
If you think live albums are the exclusive domain of Generation Foghat, consider that Ty Segall is 27, and that the forthcoming Live in San Francisco is his second full-length live album. Or forget all that and let the album melt your face clean off; the songs and the sound reproduction (handled in part by Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer) are equally ropy and full of joyful belligerence.
LOOK. We can't help it if "Uptown Funk" has been on an office-wide loop here for the last month. The criminally funky song, fronted by Bruno Mars and a gang of chanting bros, still makes us grin like idiots and shout "Julio! Get the stretch" at the elevator. The only other taste of the album is "Feel Right," in which Mystikal shreds his larynx all over a jacked-up JB-style track. We are entranced. We are dancing like nobody's watching. And we are not going to be surprised if Uptown Special is the Random Access Memories of 2015.
February 24, Don Giovanni
The clarity and muscular tightness of "Empty Head" and "Ripe," two early releases from the Screaming Females' sixth album, suggest that Rose Mountain will spawn a whole new stratum of SF fans. Imagine Rated R-era Queens of the Stone Age fronted by PJ Harvey at her steeliest, although we know from previous releases that singer-guitarist (and PAPER Original Gangster) Marissa Paternoster bucks just about any comparison you can throw at her. It's unthinkable that the Screamales would ever abandon the New Brunswick basement-show scene they came up in -- but no harm in shaking some considerably loftier rafters elsewhere, right?
February 24, Metropolis
Just last week, a packed crowd at the newly rebooted Don Hill's watched the Hedwig and the Angry Inch house band rip through the 1979 song "Natural's Not In It," reminding everyone in attendance that Gang of Four, with its gift for layering stabby guitars and jittery vocals over dance beats, was at least 25 years ahead of its time. The fact that guitarist Andy Gill is the only founding member currently involves doesn't diminish the wallop of "Broken Talk," featuring guest vocalist Alison Mosshart of the Kills and the Dead Weather. Expect other cameos, and lots more Yorkshire snarl, on What Happens Next.
March 17, Warner Bros.
2015 will be an excellent year for making out. Ever since his 2010 debut, Forget, Twin Shadow mastermind George Lewis Jr. has been crafting achingly romantic melodies and waterbeds of synthy goodness -- some of his songs sound like dark variations on Top Gun power ballad "Take My Breath Away." The two available tracks from Eclipse hint at an album that could be epic ("To the Top") or restrained ("Turn Me Up") or, most likely, a richly shaded combination of the two. Either way, it's safe to say that many, many people will soon be getting to first base via this album.
When Daft Punk names a song after you, it's time to go big -- and that's just what disco pioneer and analog mad scientist Giorgio Moroder is doing. 74 Is the New 24, his first solo album since the Reagan years, will feature a pantheon of pop vocalists, from Sia to Britney. The lead single, also called "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI_0HIz_4JY74 is the New 24," is like a joyride in a DeLorean equipped with a Vocodor and, crucially, some subsonic bass drops for the 24-year-olds. Love to love you, Giorgi.
April 6 (expected), Atlantic
The title track of Marina Diamandis' third album is over five minutes long, and while it's insanely hooky, it doesn't hammer away at an ear-worm chorus. It's more like a seamless collage of forgotten '70s and '80s club gems. Ever since her 2010 debut album, The Family Jewels, Diamandis has bristled against the pop star treatment that others would kill for; hence the line, "'Oh my god! You look just like Shakira / No no! You're Catherine Zeta' / Actually, my name's Marina" from her song "Hollywood." With the new album, Diamandis might have figured out how to simultaneously embrace and throttle that diva projection.
Release date unknown, Wicked Awesome
One of the most ambitious releases in the queue, the next Kid Cudi album is the last installment of a trilogy that began with 2009's Man On the Moon: The End of Day. That year, he was among our 25th Anniversary cover stars; in his feature, he told us that he'd "always had an album mindset" and that his "brain [was] very much in the indie music scene." Those leanings have served him well, his dense, melodic hip-hop experiments winning him collaborations with everyone from Kanye to MGMT. We'll follow him anywhere.
Release date unknown, XL
World financial markets shuddered this past October, when XL Recordings announced that Adele's third album, 25, would not come out in 2014 as promised. If this results in music retailers receiving trillion-dollar bailouts and hordes of Adele fans setting up Occupy Notting Hill encampments, so be it. The millennial superstar has shared so much of her heart-melting charm and earth-shaking chops in the last six years (gracing our 2011 Beautiful People issue along the way), we'll happily wait till she's good and ready.
PAPER Editor Dennis Dermody's Best & Worst movie list is an annual delight, filled with unexpected choices and withering takedowns of some of the year's biggest blockbusters. Happy Holidays.
Only Lovers left Alive
Jim Jarmusch's witty, lyrical, hipster vampire tale starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as ageless rock star-like vampires was sublime. If I could have one loop running in my head it would be the scene where the two leads dance to Denise Lasalle's recording of "Trapped By A Thing Called Love."
Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes festival this emotionally lacerating film by Xavier Dolan of a combustible relationship between a widowed mother (Anne Dorval) and her volatile teenage son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) doesn't officially open in the United States until January but it fucking destroyed me.
Lesson Of the Evil
Prolific madman Takashi Miike roars back to form with this sick tale of a handsome, charismatic teacher who is secretly a twisted psychopath. The finale with the "teach" racing down the school hallways blowing away students with a rifle will, I promise you, never be opening at a theater near you in the United States.
Map To The Stars
David Cronenberg (along with writer Bruce Wagner) focuses his cool sardonic eye on Hollywood with corrosive results. Julianne Moore, as a monstrously needy fading actress, gives a fearless, frightening, performance. This was supposed to open in September and probably won't open now until next year, which pisses me off so much I'm including it.
An extraordinary portrait of author Violette Leduc (played with messy ferocity by Emmanuelle Devos), who had an exasperatingly difficult friendship with fellow writers Simone de Beavoir and Jean Genet.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
One of Wes Anderson's best films, this movie set before World War II in a fictionally located elegant hotel stars Ralph Fiennes in splendid form as a concierge who, along with his bellboy Zero (Tony Revolori), goes on the run with a famous painting willed to him by a dowager (Tilda Swinton). True pleasure from first frame to the last.
Love is Strange
Ira Sach's eloquent, beautiful, drama about two aging lovers (Alfred Molina & John Lithgow -- both splendid) forced to separate and stay with friends when they lose their apartment. Achingly poignant (without being maudlin) and always surprising.
Cold In July
Director Jim Mickle's whipsmart adaption of a Joe R. Lansdale novel is a chilling neo-noir of a film starring always excellent Michael C. Hall as a husband and father who surprises and kills a burglar who breaks into his house and falls down a murderous rabbit hole. Sam Shepard and especially Don Johnson as a flashy detective are terrific.
Yes, stupid, this Richard Linklater film (taken over 12 years to film) about a boy (Ellar Coltrane) growing up with divorced parents -- played beautifully by Patricia Arquette & Ethan Hawke -- is that good.
Witching And Bitching
Wildly enjoyable, truly crackpot, this film by Spanish director Alex de la Iglesia is about a rag tag group on the run from robbing a jewelry store who commandeer a cab, with driver and passenger, and land right in the middle of a town filled with witches (led by the sublime Carmen Maura). Insane and just wonderful.
Transformers: Age Of Extinction
Here's an idea: instead of watching this why don't you put a large metal pot over your head and bang it with a wooden spoon for over two and a half hours?
Three dreary, interconnected, stories that wore my patience to the core. Maybe director Paul Haggis should have stayed a scientologist.
The Legend Of Hercules
I'll be totally honest -- the only reason I stayed was to hopefully catch a flash of Kellan Lutz's balls under his toga.
Set in ye-old pioneer times, a disheveled, drunken Tommy Lee Jones & Hilary Swank (in an ugly bonnet) have to transport three crazy ladies in a covered wagon from Nebraska to Iowa. I prayed for a mass scalping.
Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film was great -- it had wit, style, and loony action. This was another in a series of unnecessary reboots (even if it did have the wonderful Joel Kinnaman in it).
It's bad enough being stuck on a boat with all those stupid animals but with a grumpy Russell Crowe at the helm...Just say No-ah...
This ghost-in-the-machine sci-fi snore with Johnny Depp made me want dig up Steve Jobs and beat the shit out of him.
A Million Ways To Die In The West
Tumbleweeds are funnier. And that was all you could hear in the empty theaters this played in.
Edge Of Tomorrow
A time-traveling, futuristic fight film with aliens (and that includes Tom Cruise), which played like a sci-fi Groundhog Day. The ad screamed: "Live, Die, Repeat" but I'd rather: "Wash, Rinse, Repeat".
The Fault In Our Stars
They're young...they're beautiful...they're in love...and they're dying. Not soon enough.
I adore every single person in this great city of mine -- except for the following 10 types. They're horrid, annoying, and sometimes even psychotic, but they're not going to get my goat and make me leave this place. After all, I'm sure other cities have way more than 10 annoying types of people. So I'll stay here and somehow deal with the 10 worst New Yorkers -- and if you're one of them (or several of them), it'll help if you kindly keep your distance:
The type who chronically moan that everything in the city used to be better
They're just so tiresome in their constant harkening back to the best of the past, which they always unfairly compare to the worst of the present. (You know, "There used to be after-hours clubs, but now there's Starbucks!") They conveniently leave out the crime and desperation that often went along with the good old, golden days.
The ones who don't think Brooklyn really counts as part of the city
They'll complain about how there's no more edge left in New York -- no more starving artists and bohemia, blah blah blah -- but when you point out that there's quite a bit of that, it just happens to have moved over the bridge, they throw you a fish eye and walk away. They should keep walking all the way to Brooklyn, then come back and tell me there's no bohemia left.
The stroller pushers
I have nothing against people who procreate -- in fact, if we don't do so, we'll cease to exist as a race -- but I don't like the way some of them feel their possession of a stroller gives them ownership of the streets of New York. I've been run over by babies more than by anyone else in this town!
The ones who snarl, "You're going the wrong way," "Wear a helmet," and so on
Again, there's nothing wrong with people pointing out various misdeeds (though not wearing a helmet isn't illegal and is hardly their business). It's just that so many New Yorkers who used to be so laissez-faire have become like self-appointed police guards, constantly barking orders and admonitions at strangers in order to keep up the standards of what threatens to become a five-borough co-op. They need to go back to Connecticut, where that sort of thing is OK.
The ones who only do things that lots of other people are doing
They go on weekly museum tours and take out seasonal subscriptions to crappy theaters, and what's more, they never thought of riding a bicycle until Citibikes were thrust down their throats. Now they can't stop talking about it! Funny, this city used to be a lot more...no, let me not become one of my own most dreaded types.
The kind that never leave their neighborhood
They only go to restaurants within a two-block radius. They'll only see whatever's playing at the nearest movie theater. And they're freelance, so they usually never leave the house. Get a Citibike!
The ones who are glued to their cell phones
Of course this could happen in any city -- or even on a farm, for all I know -- but in New York, it's especially irritating, considering how much there is to experience here. Instead of taking it all in, people insist on attaching their eyes to that infernal small screen as if reading the word of God. As they do so, I send them a text saying, "Fuck you!"
The ones who blithely walk into traffic
They don't take off their headphones. They don't look up. They don't look from side to side. They don't even wait to get to a corner. They just sashay, oblivious, into a potential death sentence -- and they always survive!
Unbelievably, there are still people in New York who commit hate crimes. There are still dingdongs who yell witty stuff like "Faggot" out of cars -- and sometimes they have a New York license plate! I just don't get it. There are plenty of other cities in this fine country where haters can have a perfectly nice life with each other.
Unattractive people who make out in public
Get a room!
Looking for a DIY arts and crafts gift to give your special someone for the holidays? Then might we suggest taking a page from Danish artist Uwe Max Jensen who painted a portrait of our Kim Kardashian #BreakTheInternet cover with...his dick. Speaking to our friends over at The Daily Dot, Jensen told them his organ was flaccid the entire time and that he would dip it into paint while holding it in one hand and the canvas in the other. If you're wondering how he was able to get some of those more intricate details in, he told the Copenhagen Post it was thanks to, uh, the size of his tool. "If one is ill-equipped, it is difficult to reproduce the small details," he said. "But if one is well-endowed, it is easier to produce a better painting." Beautiful.
While the rest of us have those terrible "your year" Facebook videos to mark our milestones from the past 12 months, Beyonce has black-and-white gorgeously art-directed videos featuring desertscapes, water falls and enough slow motion to deplete all of the fragrance commercial industry's stock for years to come. To mark the year anniversary of December 2013's world-ending Beyonce and reflect on all that's happened since, Queen Bey just released "Yours and Mine," a 12-minute meditation on life, love, motherhood and feminism. Yonce's disembodied sooth-bot voice floats over footage collected from various Beyonce video shoots as she shares her longing to be a regular person ("when you're famous, nobody looks at you like you're human anymore. You become the property of the public), discusses being a feminist and what that word really means, and bestows some obtuse spiritual pithiness that only Knowles and Tilda Swinton could ever pull off ("I feel like my body is borrowed, and this life is very temporary"). Blue, Jay-Z and Solange make cameos. We've already watched it three times and definitely cried a little bit the first time. May your 2015 be filled with peace, love and Bey.
If you're used to spending your weekends at 50 Shades-style sex parties, Nicki Minaj's visuals for "Only" will seem pretty familiar. In the music video, besties Drake, Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj inhabit an apocalyptic warehouse party full of BDSM-vibes and Beats by Dre product placement. Although it's an improvement over the Nazi-themed lyric video, this particular setting definitely doesn't make Drake's "BBW" reference any easier to stomach. Chis Brown, meanwhile, is barely in the video -- which is a nice touch -- and he occasionally pops up as a demon to sing the hook.
But hey, if that's what you're into, check out the music video for "Only," above.