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Roman Coppola Talks Four Stories Film Series, Charlie Sheen and the Best Breakup Movies

romancoppola.jpgLast Thursday night, a bevy of cool kids (from magician David Blaine to actor Michael Pitt to Chairlift's Caroline Polachek) headed to the W Hotel Downtown to celebrate the launch of the Four Stories Film Series, a contest spearheaded by W Hotels, Intel and director Roman Coppola. (Aspiring filmmakers take note: write a screenplay for a short film which is set in a W Hotel and features Intel's newest computer, the Ultrabook, then upload it here and hope that your script is one of three selected by a panel of judges that includes Roman Coppola, Chloe Sevigny, and Michael Pitt. Coppola's production company, The Director's Bureau, will make the winning screenplays into ten-minute shorts to be played alongside one of Coppola's own.)

At the party, we took Coppola aside for a moment to chat about his new movie, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (which stars Charlie Sheen), how he feels about Westerns, and which breakup movies he thinks really get it right

So how did you become involved in Four Stories?
I was just asked to participate [in the series] to be a judge and a director, to try to encourage interesting things to happen. I am a person who's very curious about stuff so when people approach me to do something I haven't done before I am always curious. It seemed like a good time to try to do something different.

What is it about hotels that makes them such a popular subject for films?
Well, I think when you travel, when you stay at a hotel, it is always filled with adventure. It defines it -- seeing new places, meeting new people, unknown circumstance, surprises, different cultures.

Tell me about your upcoming movie, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III.
The story is about this very dynamic guy who's a lover of women and has some child-like qualities, and is going through a personal meltdown because his girlfriend breaks up with him. I'm very delighted with my cast. Charlie Sheen is someone who is a fascinating personality, but also is a great actor, and I'm very proud that I got to show his talents in that way. And Jason [Schwartzman], someone I really love as a person and as actor, and Bill Murray, similarly. It's a very personal movie, made very much from my heart.

Does the film touch upon Sheen's meltdown?
There are, perhaps, some similarities, and people can draw their own conclusions from Charlie's real persona. But I was drawn to him, for one because he is a tremendous actor, and two because he's a friend. We were friends as kids, we knew each other and always had a good rapport. I wanted to use him much prior to the public stuff. In fact that was kind of a distraction, because it made people confused about who he was. So I'm very hopeful that people will see the film and say, "Well, wow. This guy is very good actor." There are more sides to him than just the one, you know, abbreviated version that we got on the web.

You told Interview magazine that the movie a male-centric look at a breakup.
It's based on the personal experience of a break up. My friend was breaking up with his wife when I wrote it. We would just talk about it all day long, like "Oh she did this," or "Yeah, did she do that?", "She stopped paying attention," "I know." There was a lot of bullshitting and shooting the breeze, the process of trying to figure it all out. And you know that brain-melting, kind of flip-flopping that happens as you go through it. The only really male thing about it is that there are a lot of guy characters, and it's seen from their point of view. But a friend, a woman, who saw my movie, said, "Oh, wow. I related to it so much." So I don't think it's guy-centric to a fault, it just happened to have a lot of guy characters talking about relationships for an hour and a half.

I also read that there's a Western sequence in Charles Swan. Are you particularly drawn to Westerns?
I'm not particularly drawn to Westerns, I'm drawn to Hollywood imagery. So, my film has a certain touchstone that relates to the classic B-list serialized Westerns from the '30s, and other kinds of Hollywood imagery that I find very beautiful and interesting. The guy's in a depression, so he fantasizes about all this fantastical imagery. Similarly, in Hollywood, that golden era of all that magical filmmaking happened in the deep pits of the Depression. So, it's kind of your instinct to fantasize and reach beyond where you are at. I think there's a correlation there.

Are there movies that stand out to you as portraying breakups very well?
Well, Annie Hall, very much so. That's a big iconic movie. So great. That's the ultimate one that comes to mind. A movie like All That Jazz is something I love very much, that's inspired me. Or Fellini movies, like .

I know you've talked about doing a Bugsy Malone-esque film. Have you made any headway with that?
One of these days I hope to get the chance to do a kids movie. I love children, everyone loves children, and I like the idea. I'd get a big thrill out of making a movie for children and having a premiere with only children allowed to attend. I think that would be fun.

For those thinking about entering the Four Stories contest, what makes for a good short film? 
Well, a good film is obviously something -- it's very generic to say -- that evolves, and sparks your imagination in some way. It has something you feel an emotional connection with. But, I'm partial to things that are inventive, and unusual and playful. I like the sensation of being delighted, of being surprised. I like things that have a sense of mirth or whimsy. So, you know, the ultimate thing would have, it would be moving, but also be playful. You know, like Fellini, one of my favorite filmmakers -- something that sort of embodies those qualities. That's very playful and stupid and crude, child-like, but also very moving. That's kind of my thing.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Beyoncé Updated Her Tumblr!

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 5.41.04 PM.pngIf you haven't already, please run -- don't walk -- to Beyoncé's Tumblr, where the pop star recently posted some hi-res photos featuring B & co. going about their highly... irregular lives. We picked out some of our favorites of her vacationing on some pretty sweet ranches, attending World Humanitarian Day, doing straddle jumps in Marfa, TX, and of course, just chillin with Jay, Solange and Blue Ivy. Below some of our favorite additions:

beyonce2.jpegAlways the do-gooder, Beyoncé performed at the UN for World Humanitarian Day on August 19.

beyonce3.jpegIt's Blue Ivy (well, her backside!) holding it down in her dad's tour shirt.

tumblr_m8m39qaTOd1rqgjz2o1_1280.jpgStill life with a sick bracelet, purple nails and a hot green pepper.

beyonce4.jpegEqually adorable: Solange's seven-year-old son Julez.

beyonce5.jpegIt's always a rare treat to see the super-private Beyoncé and Jay-Z share an intimate moment. Here's Jay-Z pushing Beyoncé on a swing in a very nicely-manicured backyard. Also, hello there Chocolate Lab, what's your name?

beyonce6.jpegBeyoncé and her friend browse the Kashi aisle at the grocery store.

beyonce7.jpegWe really want to hula-hoop with Beyoncé.

beyonce8.jpegHere's Solange and B posing together while riding in some kind of private jet/car. Ah, the good life.

R.I.P. Helen Gurley Brown

helen-gurley-brown-see-through.jpgLike many, we were sad to hear of the passing of legendary Cosmopolitan Editor Helen Gurley Brown today, at 90 years old.  Having written her now-famous Sex and the Single Girl in 1962 -- one year before Betty Friedan would come out with The Feminine Mystique in 1963 -- Gurley Brown can rightly be credited with helping launch a revolution among women and female sexuality, even while being fundamentally at odds with Friedan, Gloria Steinem and second-wave feminists. Even though Gurley Brown's famous sex advice and opinions (and Cosmo's advice in general) was not without criticism from feminists in the '60s and '70s, just as they aren't c. 2012, many of her maxims still sound modern, fun and important today.  Here are some of our faves: 

On maintaining a healthy, sexual relationship:
"Even if sex isn't great every time, it's a unique form of communication and togetherness that can help you stay together with a good degree of contentment."

On not having to choose a sex life or feeling sexy over motherhood:
"Welcoming a penis just seems more womanly to me than baking chocolate chip cookies or doling out money for a grandchild's college tuition." [Ed note: this quote is also a favorite to us because 'welcoming a penis' makes us think of asking a penis if we may take its coat or if it would something to drink.]

On not rushing into marriage:
"As for marrying to have children, you can have babies until you're forty or older.  And if you happen to die before they are forty, at least you haven't lingered into their middle age to be a doddering old bore. You also avoid those tiresome years as an unpaid baby sitter."
And, of course, what tribute to Helen Gurley Brown could be complete without a revisit to her famous decision to feature a naked Burt Reynolds on a bearskin rug in a Cosmo centerfold?

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 5.24.37 PM.png

Here's a Video Inside Patricia Field's 8th Street Boutique in the '80s


We were poking around on Jeremiah Moss' website Jeremiah's Vanishing New York recently (Moss also did a Q&A with us last week about Peep World on 33rd Street turning into a Hooters, that you should check out) and came across a video shot inside Patricia Field's old boutique on 8th street by Nelson Sullivan. (Vanishing NY has another video by the late, prolific Sullivan chronicling Michael Musto and friends taking a subway ride out to Coney Island in 1987, that's also a must-see.) There's not a ton happening here, really, just six minutes of people browsing in the seminal downtown boutique and some asides with nightlife drag fixture Allen 'Tangella' Robinson (who now lives in Texas and who coined one of our favorite Mr. Mickey-isms to indicate shock or mock disbelief: "You lie in your pussy!") as well as Disco Bloodbath author James St. James and "Lisa E." (whom you might also recognize as House star Lisa Edelstein -- yep, Cuddy was a club kid). Mostly, it's just a nice little bit of ephemera for your Monday afternoon, featuring a bunch of looks we're still seeing on kids today and Ms. Field walking around in her store with a cigarette. Check it out above.

"F-Bomb" and "Sexting" Added to the Dictionary + a Party Down Movie Is Maybe Shooting Soon = Eight Items Or Less

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 6.55.24 PM.png1) This was posted on Barack Obama's official Tumblr page today. Meow, Barry! (And, for the record, Paul Ryan is indeed the worst. Get out and vote in November, kids.) [BarackObama]

2) Parks and Rec is back September 20th and NBC just released this promo of Aziz Ansari (Tom) wrestling Nick Offerman (Ron) to get you pumped. We are pumped, but where is Donna?! [Jezebel]

3) Much loved San Francisco sausage grill Rosamunde is coming to Williamsburg (vegetarians, their vegan apple sage sausage is apparently super delish, so you're covered too). [Gothamist]

4) Divine Fits, featuring Spoon's Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs, and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown have a new album out called A Thing Called Divine Fits. Stream it in full at NPR.

f-bomb f bomb fuck.jpg
5) "F-Bomb," "man cave," "bucket list," "sexting" and "life coach" are among 100 new additions to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. [Salon]

6) Excuse us, wut: Megan Mullally says that the long-rumored Party Down movie could start shooting next summer and that financial backing is pretty much in place, pending script approval. [PopCultureBrain]

7) A cleanup crew hired to clear out the West Village apartment of late photographer and reclusive hoarder Harry Shunk uncovered a trove of art work, including pieces by Christo, Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Paul Jenkins. The Lichtenstein Foundation snapped up a bunch of photos in the apartment when Shunk died in 2006, but Daryl Kelly, who led the cleanup, found the Warhols, etc. There's no will and Kelly gets to keep and auction the prints. (That's one of his Warhols above.) [NYT]

 kangaroos-head.jpg8) Three kangaroos escaped from a zoo in Frankfurt,Germany recently via holes dug by some of their fox and boar friends. Two of the three kangaroos have been captured. One remains at large. God speed. [Gawker]

Tips for Today: Robert Anasi in NYC + Franz Ferdinand in L.A. + Caddywhompus in Chicago + John Maus in London

New York 

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 11.20.05 AM.pngMetajournalist Robert Anasi knew Williamsburg before it was cool and rent was over $300. No, really. His fascinating memoir, The Last Bohemia, Scenes From the Life of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, chronicles the neighborhood's vastly different scene during the 90's. It reflects on the massive changes (for good and bad) that the area has gone through. Don't miss his reading tonight at Word. [NY Mag]

Any skateboarder knows that the art display on the bottom of your board deck is really a reflection of you. The co-founder and Senior Creative Director of the iconic skateboard company 5Boro, Mark Nardelli, will be discussing the world of skateboard art displays tonight at Design of the Times: Skateboard Graphics, at 3rd Ward. [Flavorpill]

This is the time for all you creative people to get noticed. Tonight at Freddy's, the monthly magazine, Having a Whiskey Coke With You, will be hosting an open mic in honor of finishing their first volume. Speak, sing or perform your way into the audience's hearts. [Brooklyn Based]

Los Angeles

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 11.47.52 AM.pngScottish post-punk band, Franz Ferdinand, is back. They're touring to support the release of their not-yet-titled upcoming album. See them tonight at The Glass House with Bleached and Carnivores. [Oh My Rockness]

Regina Spektor, the Russian piano-crooner with a penchant for witty and intelligent lyrics, will perform tonight at The Greek Theatre. [LA Weekly]


Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 12.23.21 PM.pngCaddywhompus, the noisy indie band from New Orleans, will be performing at The Burlington in support of their new album, Maze Demos. [Oh My Rockness]

Head over to Sarca, because this week only, spring/summer womenswear, shoes and accessories are 40 percent off. [Time Out]


Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 12.49.00 PM.pngJohn Maus is quite the artist He is a keyboard player for Panda Bear and Ariel Pink, released a well-regarded and super catchy synth-pop album in 2011, We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, and is also working on his PhD. He also looks like an '80 preppy but most of his frenzied performances involve him standing on stage with a microphone, screaming and hitting himself. Check him out tonight at Scala with The Pheromoans and Trash Kit. [Time Out]

Funthyme and All Ears have a barbeque and tales planned for tonight with their story series, Storythyme. Lounge out on your blanket at Daltson Roof Gardens, as you munch on Spatchcock poussin and listen to entertaining, true tales from various talented folks. [Flavorpill]

Morning Funnies: "Baby Got Back" Film Supercut + What 50 Cent Really Thinks of Kimye


Oh my god, Becky, look at...this amazing "Baby Got Back" supercut made from over 295 different movies. [via Uproxx]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 6.17.47 PM.pngWhen asked about the Kanye West-Kim Kardashian relationship, 50 Cent reportedly told XXL, "You know how it is?  One man's trash is another man's treasure."  Zing!

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 6.28.06 PM.pngBehold, Models Who Look Like They Just Farted. [Buzzfeed via Models Who Look Like They Just Farted]

Big Ang showed off her engagement ring to Jimmy Fallon last night. [via Late Night with Jimmy Fallon]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 6.34.20 PM.pngSleepovers c. 2012. [via Paris Hilton Sex Slave]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 6.39.12 PM.pngWe introduced you to the wonders of "Cholafied" back in February and now here's Cholafied McKayla Maroney and Ryan Lochte. [via Cholafied]

Should you wish to become more informed about Romney's choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, may we recommend watching this bonkers animated clip courtesy of a Taiwanese animation studio?  (They basically make Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan look like they were operating out of that rpg game Second Life.) [via Hyper Vocal]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 6.57.30 PM.pngIce-Scream. [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 9.02.40 PM.pngJames McAvoy Lying On Things.  (And you can even make your own!) [via Buzzfeed]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 9.10.22 PM.pngOne of the founders of Crocs was busted for a DUI and when police pulled him over, he incoherently blamed the incident on his "girlfriend, Taylor Swift."  And no, he was not wearing Crocs at the time.  He was wearing flip-flops. [via Gawker]

Screen shot 2012-08-13 at 9.17.27 PM.pngIn honor of the Spice Girls performing at the Olympics Closing Ceremony on Sunday, here's a -- wait a minute.  [via Paul Scheer]

Robert Pattinson went on The Daily Show and had a pint of Ben & Jerry's with Jon Stewart who told him to "kick [Kristen Stewart] to the curb."  [via The Daily Show]

DJ Khaled & Kanye West's "I Wish You Would"/"Cold" Is Our Music Video of the Day


Warning: Do not watch this video if you're seizure-prone.  If not, then watch away.  Hype Williams directed this six-minute long clip for DJ Khaled and Kanye West's "I Wish You Would" and "Cold" -- that song where 'Ye first professes his "love for Kim" -- featuring the producer and the rapper in a tunnel joined by Rick Ross (Ricky Rozay!) and, briefly, Kim Kardashian.  (Add "video vixen" to Kim's growing list of job descriptions?)  Other than that, there's lots of intentionally shaky camera footage of the MCs rapping in your face (like we said, not good for those who have seizures or shaky equilibrium).

"I Wish You Would" can be found on DJ Khaled's album, Kiss the Ring, out 8/21 via We the Best Music Group/Terror Squad/Cash Money Records/Universal Republic.

OMG, OMG, OMG: A Downton Abbey Season 3 Trailer


Here's a bootlegged trailer for season three of Downton Abbey, taped off someone's television in the U.K. (Hey, a new Downton Abbey trailer is a new Downton Abbey trailer, even if you can hear the person who filmed it laughing at the Dowager Countess' withering one-liners in the background.) Some things we learn in this clip: Shirley MaClaine is the new DBOL (deliciously bitchy old lady) on the block; Mistah Banks is in jail and looking way hotter than last season, Lady Mary is still a big brat; all of the family's money is gone; Branson is back, which maybe means he and Lady Sybil have returned home from Ireland; the totally authentic Edwardian  '20s-era phrase 'bring the drama' is used and Matthew sighs and rubs his eyebrows. Season 3 debuts next month in the UK and, ughhhh, in January 2013 in the U.S. Not fair. Anyway, watch above!

[Via Vulture]

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 11.29.34 AM.pngHappy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!  Although there seems to be almost as many celebrity chefs on TV these days as there are reality TV stars, we can't think of anyone who has as much fun in the kitchen as the late Julia Child did.  We always loved watching her show because it seemed like she truly took pleasure in cooking and eating and never took herself too seriously while doing either. PBS has another cute "Remixed" auto-tune video (we also recommend you watch earlier versions they made for Mister Rogers and Bob Ross) in honor of what would have been her centennial b-day and, aside from putting us in a better mood this morning, it also made us a little hungry.  Bon Appétit!

Also, check out this photo of Julia back when she was young Julia McWilliams...what a beauty!

julia child young.png

"Scent Capturing Postcard Printer" + Condoleezza Rice's Modeling Debut In Today's Style Scraps

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 12.13.22 PM.pngCheck out these cool jewelry pieces by designer Laura Lombardi, launching today with online vintage store Market Publique. [via Market Publique]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 12.20.17 PM.pngWerk it, Condi!  The former Secretary of State made her modeling debut for NFL's women's apparel line, sporting a Cleveland Browns jersey (her favorite football team).  The campaign also features Melania Trump and Serena Williams, among others. [via Fashionista]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 12.47.41 PM.pngTopshop is hosting a pop-up boutique at Montauk's Surf Lodge (183 Edgemere St.) starting this Friday 8/17 through Sunday 8/19.  Live music, including guest DJs and Chairlift, will perform each night of the weekend from 7-10pm.  Sounds fun!

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 12.49.21 PM.pngHere's that Azealia Banks cover for Dazed & Confused that was banned in seven countries.  Personally, we prefer ours. [via High Snobiety]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 1.07.50 PM.pngA judge dismissed a lawsuit against Alexander Wang that claimed his Chinatown factory was a sweatshop.  [via WWD]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 1.16.23 PM.pngWhat the what?  A Chinese designer created a "scent-capturing postcard printer" for Sony that uses pattern recognition technology to identify an image and then transfer the associated scent via aroma-based inks onto the card. [via SlamXHype]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 1.27.50 PM.pngCheck out the Fab Five (minus Gabby Douglas) out of their Kate Middleton-approved leotards and looking glam at the NYC premiere of Sparkle last night.  Poor Jordyn Wieber looks like she broke her foot, though! [via Style.com]

Sandwich of the Week: Smoked Bluefish Special from Mile End Sandwich

In a city with no shortage of delicious Jewish delicatessens, Mile End Sandwich's Montreal-style smoked meat sandwich puts up a fierce fight against the longtime heavyweight champions at Katz's. But when Mile End Sandwich chef James Merker set out to create his version of a smoked fish sandwich, he shied away from the whitefish and sturgeon standards of competitors  and instead went for an unexpected Long Island staple: bluefish. This divisive ingredient often gets a bad rap for its strong taste, but a stint as sous chef at Bridgehampton's South Fork Kitchen taught Merker how to temper the flavors of the fisherman's fish for more finicky eaters. An apple-cider based glaze flavored with a dash of pickled mustard seed gives the fish a surprising sweetness,  further enhanced by a slow smoke. "The smoke takes away from that fishiness typically associated with bluefish, and it also calms down the oils in the process," Merker explains. Pickled watermelon rind and salt and vinegar chips add a bit of acidity to balance the saltiness of a pleasantly light tartar sauce, and also provide a nice crunch factor. The more discerning palate may even get a hint of blueberry, as the watermelon rind is preserved using the brine from Mile End's other summer special, a summer corn soup with pickled blueberries. All of this is served atop a golden softy bun, which is based off the same buttery, cakey dough Merker uses for his challah pullman loaf. At $12, it's slightly less expensive than the signature smoked meat sandwich. But all good things must come to an end, and this, of course, includes bluefish season, which tapers off near the end of September according to Merker. Get yourself to NoHo now before it's too late.

53 Bond St
(212) 529-2990

Mark Andrew Gravel Makes Cool Beans at Kinfolk Studios

To celebrate the upcoming release of his new cookbook and visual guidebook about all things radical beanmaking and plant-based eating, Kill the Recipe: A Cookbook and Visual Guidebook on the Basics of Radical Beanmaking and Plant-based Eating, Mark Andrew Gravel (that's 'the Bean Activist,' as we dubbed him in our May issue, to you) is hosting a party at Kinfolk Studios in Williamsburg later this month. 

And it's not just any party. Yes, there will be a bar and DJs (including Alex Pasternak, Disco Rude and William) spinning. But there will be so much more -- beans, that is. Gravel, also the founder of Bean-In, will be putting together "improvisational bean salads" with produce from Brooklyn Grange throughout the evening, which has been dubbed, wait for it...Cool Beans. Yes.

Compass Green will also be on hand with a mobile greenhouse truck project to launch its east coast tour.

Cool Beans is happening on August 26. Check out the flyer below for more details.

Time Machine Chefs Star Silvena Rowe On the New ABC Show + How the Olympics Hurt U.K. Restaurants



Silvena Rowe
, a celebrity chef in the U.K., is entering the U.S. spotlight this Thursday when the new ABC series Time Machine Chefs blasts off. Described as a cross between Top Chef and Dr. Who, the show re-imagines feasts during the Ming Dynasty, for instance, or Tudor England. Competing chefs are allowed to use only the tools and ingredients available during that time as well as work without running water. Rowe, an author of six cookbooks and the chef at Quince, a topflight Eastern Mediterranean restaurant in London, is a judge. Last night she talked via Skype from England's Lake District where she's filming another cooking show for the BBC.


I watched a clip from Time Machine Chefs where you say, 'I could have eaten the brains of 50 of those ducks.' Is there anything you won't eat?

I'll eat anything if I'm sufficiently hungry. I'm not shy to eat any food. I'm very greedy.


How do you keep your weight down?

I work out four times a week and try to do controlled portions. Very occasionally I may decide to go on some sort of diet and I fall into depression. I find it very dull. My dreams are suppressed. Food makes my world go round in a big way.


Which places in New York have you liked lately?

I absolutely love Red Rooster. Roberta's in Brooklyn. I love Mario Batali's Babbo. Andrew Carmellini is a genius. Two places in the world are the most exciting for eating right now. One is New York and one is Istanbul. My father was Turkish so I know it like the back of my hand. Istanbul is the best-kept secret in many ways. I travel for food. I don't travel for the beach.


Press materials emphasize how you equate food and sex. Are you married or single?

Very much married. Marriage and sex are not mutually exclusive. Food and sex are inseparable. I like flowers in my food, I like lightness, vibrancy. Texture is very important. It's about the passion I have for food. I don't read anything except books and magazines about food. I never read novels. You can say, 'Oh, my God,' she doesn't read, but I want to be the best I can be in my profession. I don't have the patience for a novel, even if it's a love story, unless it's about food. My references are not meant to be indecent or improper. They are to say that food should be alluring, seductive, make you happy to be alive, not to just help you be alive.


I read you did the food on David Cronenberg's film, Eastern Promises.

This was very exciting. I got approached by David Cronenberg's team to be a consultant on the food. The film is very much about the Mafia and all the deals are done around food on the table. The Russian Mafia is no different from the Italian Mafia in that sense. We've all see The Godfather. I had to create an explosion of textures, colors, fluorescent caviar, meat and fish. Naomi Watts was pregnant and wouldn't eat caviar. But Mr. Cronenberg was totally seduced by the most mouthwatering blini I prepared for him every day with a huge mountain of Beluga caviar. Naomi had a lot of borscht. My borscht is to die for, a glorious purple liquid.


You're Bulgarian and Turkish so what brought you to London?

My husband is British. I've lived in London a long time.


What did you think of the Olympics?

The Olympics were mind-blowing. The athletes were so impeccably behaved. Everything was perfect. Britain is great, but America is where I should be living. I love how you celebrate success and confidence and nurture it. You're not ashamed of it. In Britain, even now, with the success of the Olympics, they're finding it difficult to say, 'Wow!' America is the most progressive place in the world for me. I love your food scene. I love the chefs, especially Art Smith [featured on Time Machine Chefs]. I feel very much at home there, not foreign.


I read a New York Times story about London restaurants being empty during the Olympics. Was that the case at Quince?

Yes. I've never had an empty restaurant, but I wasn't alone. London -- it was like a bomb was dropped. Mayfair, where my restaurant is, usually has a lot of buzz and life. August is a quiet period but certainly not that quiet. The British authorities over-reacted. They told people to work from home, don't come into the city. Because they're British, they listened. What other nation queues for a bus so well? It was a disaster from that point of view, a very bad decision. Fellow chefs had to close for lunch or closed early at dinner. I've never seen so many restaurants empty. The security was so tight even a pigeon couldn't land.


You had the U.S. female rowers, who won the gold, at your restaurant.

Oh, my God, this was a big day for me. Fabulous, amazing stars, Orlando Bloom, and so many others, have been to my restaurant, but those girls, they melted my heart. They were the most incredible, strong, shining young women. To have them in my kitchen -- I was so star-struck.


With Time Machine Chefs traveling over time, is there any era you would not have wanted to live through?

I wouldn't have liked to live through the Depression. That wouldn't be much fun, but it would be very challenging. Time Machine Chefs is very realistic and eye-opening in the way it presents the cooking conditions in every period of time, but it's also a dreamy, whimsical, fantastical cooking show. We are so tired of plain competitions where people are mean to each other and vitriolic language is being used.


As a judge, you're described as Simon Cowell-esque. Isn't that mean?

Simon Cowell is not nasty. Gordon Ramsay is nasty. Simon Cowell has his finger on the pulse. He's direct, he says it like it is. I'm outspoken but never nasty or unfair.


Time Machine Chefs debuts Thursday, August 16, 9p.m. Eastern Time on ABC. Follow Silvena Rowe on Facebook and Twitter.

Peaches and Alicia Silverstone Are Latest to Show (and Write, and Film) Their Support For Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot members Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich on trial for "premeditated hooliganism" are continuing to gain high profile support in anticipation of their verdict hearing on Friday in a Moscow court. There, the three defendants in the Feminist punk band will find out if they have been sentenced to seven years in prison.

The trio's latest supporters: Peaches and Alicia Silverstone.

Meanwhile, Peaches has launched a petition in support of Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova, and Samutsevich on Change.org. The Free Pussy Riot petition received over 85,000 signatures in just five days; as of today, it's just under a third shy of its 150,000 goal. (Check it out here if you're interested in signing). 

Peaches has also premiered the video for her new song, Free Pussy Riot, which was filmed in Berlin with over 400 Pussy Riot supporters and features the electrifying chorus, "We are all Pussy Riot." The video includes footage from over 70 artists and musicians who were unable to attend the shoot including The Hives, Marshall Crenshaw, Wayne Kramer (MC5),  Margaret Cho, Dave Hill, Kate Nash, JD Samson (Le Tigre, Men), Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters), Bun E Carlos (Cheap Trick), Lykke LiMiike Snow, Peter Bjorn & John, Light Asylum, and The Knife. Watch it below!

Meanwhile, Silverstone, Cher Horowitz alter-ego and known vegan person, appealed to Russian president Vladimir Putin directly today in letter form. The note--typed on her personal stationary and not handwritten with a fuzzy feather pen--was uploaded to PETA's U.K. blog expressed concern over the health conditions of the three women and asked that Putin provide them with the appropriate dietary provisions. It says, in part:

"Dear President Putin, 

I have been following the trial involving three members of the band Pussy Riot. As a vegan myself, I was deeply concerned to learn that one of the women, Maria Alekhina, who is a vegan, reportedly collapsed from hunger during a court session. I respectfully request you to ensure that vegan meals are available to Ms. Alekhina -- and all prisoners..."

Finally, there are Pussy Riot rallies and marches in the works around the world planned for this Friday, August 17th, to coincide with the verdict. FreePussyRiot.org has a list of various cities where you can partake. Below, a copied agenda for Friday from the NYC Facebook page Actions in Support of Pussy Riot:

Musical masquerade protest party
WHERE: 9am, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church 15 E 97th St, (6 train to 96th Street) and 10am, Russian Consulate 9 East 91st Street
PLEASE: Bring signs, wear bright colors (see Pussy Riot for inspiration) and bring a noisemaker and/or stringed instrument. Don't forget to bring your balaclava masque.

Pussy Riot March on Madison

WHAT: from the Upper East Side to Times Square
WHERE: Madison Avenue from 91st to 42nd street
WHEN: 11am-1pm (approx)
PLEASE: Bring signs, wear bright colors (see Pussy Riot for inspiration) and bring a noisemaker and/or stringed instrument.

MIDDAY ACTION: Times Square Rally

WHERE: 46th Street and Broadway
WHEN: 1-2pm

These Kids Rapping About Snack Foods Are the Best


We can't get enough of Minneapolis-based kids rap group Y.N.RichKids and their video for the snack-obsessed single, "Hot Cheetos & Takis." The track brings everything we like in a rap video: quick cuts, a quaking gyration of the camera and cruising on bikes -- just trade the club for the playground and "stacks" for "snacks" and you're set. These kids are also just insanely talented and it's not possible to pick favorites (although we've taken a shine to the rowdy little guy with braids). Watch out Matty B and Sophia Grace because this group is now at the top of kids-rapping-on-the-internet game.

Anthony Bourdain's North American Tour + Spencer Sweeney's Opening Tonight at Home Alone Gallery = Eight Items Or Less

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 6.05.46 PM.png1.  Anthony Bourdain is embarking on his first North American tour come November, making stops in Nashville, TN; Birmingham, AL; Houston, TX; Baltimore, MD and more.  Details are a little fuzzy about what the 'show' will be like but we're assuming it'll be a night full of his bon mots and a Paula Deen/Sandra Lee diss or two. [via Eater/Anthony Bourdain Tour]

2. Watch Kanye West seem a little vulnerable (strange as that sounds) when he talks about writing lyrics for songs in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  The clip is an outtake from the forthcoming documentary, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, directed by Ice-T, out digitally and on DVD September 18th.  The doc, which features some of hip-hop's biggest and most influential rappers talking about their experiences in the genre, also includes interviews with Chuck D, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip, Mos Def, ice Cube, Nas, Dr. Dre, Common and more. [via The Art of Rap]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 4.33.53 PM.png3. Tonight's the opening for Spencer Sweeney's "Nerds," on view for 24 hours at Tribeca's Home Alone Gallery (54 Franklin St.), a space curated by artists Nate Lowman, Hanna Liden and Leo Fitzpatrick that solely consists of a storefront window displaying art for pedestrians on the street to view.  We're not 100% sure what Sweeney's piece will look like on display but, judging from the invitation, we're guessing it may resemble Sweeney's 2000 work "I Hate Fucking Nerds" (above). As for the gallery, T has an interesting piece about it and describes how the artists were inspired by the movie version Home Alone and Edward Munch's "The Scream" when deciding what to name the space.

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 5.02.04 PM.png4. We're a little befuddled by these Comedy Central x Urban Outfitters "Indecision" tees.  On the one hand, we get that they theoretically appeal to UO's "young, irony-inclined, liberal customers" but on the other hand, the company's president donated to Rick Santorum's senate campaign!  It's like, "Stop pretending, already!" [via Urban Outfitters]

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 6.00.12 PM.png5. Artist Mickalene Thomas will have not one but two firsts this fall: her first documentary will screen at the opening of her first solo show, Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe, at the Brooklyn Museum in late-September.  According to Thomas' gallery, Lehmann Maupin, the doc, Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman, is "a celebration of the artist's mother and muse, Sandra Bush," who, sadly, is currently suffering from illness and kidney failure.  In a statement of her own, Thomas says that she "want[s] my work to capture the reality of who she is, but I also want to capture her strength and beauty."  As for the rest of the exhibit, you can expect 93 pieces of the artist's work from the last two years, which, similar to the documentary, will include Thomas' "signature portraits of vibrant black women in photographs, paintings, and collages," as stated in a Brooklyn Museum press release. [via Gallerist NY/Brooklyn Museum

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 5.39.08 PM.png6. Word is that Abby Elliott will be the latest cast member to leave SNL following announcements that Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg are moving on.  Jason Sudeikis is also rumored to be leaving and all of your finger-crossing that he'll stay on and continue playing Mitt Romney during the election probably doesn't matter.  [via NY Times

Screen shot 2012-08-15 at 3.59.20 PM.png
7. And, finally, we'll give you one guess whose 1983 prom photo this is.  (Hint: this person's name rhymes with Shoe Mall.) [via Buzzfeed]

Tips for Today: Marina and the Diamonds in NYC + Amadou and Mariam in L.A. + Sebadoh in Chicago + Lower Dens in London

New York

Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 11.46.59 AM.pngPAPER girl Marina Diamandis a.k.a. Marina and the Diamonds, artfully combines dance pop with a touch of retro soul, as seen on her wildly popular single "Primadonna"  from her sophomore album, Electra Heart. She performs tonight at Webster Hall. [NY Mag]

Check out documentary photos, drawings and works on paper by the late Greenwich Village-based writer and women's rights advocate Djuna Barnes at "Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913-1919" at the Brooklyn Museum. You'll see some mesmerizing accounts and photos of her old neighborhood. [NY Mag]

Vans really knows how party. There's another great one tonight at House of Vans featuring Saddle Creek's art-rock band Cursive, Titus Andronicus, Love as Laughter and Joyce Manor. As always, it's free. [Flavorpill]

Los Angeles

Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 12.20.13 PM.pngAmadou and Mariam, the blind Malian couple making complex and enchanting African-infused folk pop have collaborated with everyone from members of TV on the Radio to Santigold to Theophilus London. You won't want to miss their show tonight at Santa Monica Pier. [LA Weekly]

Hardcore music fans should check out the screening of Bad Brains: Band in D.C. tonight at Cinefamily. The film documents the rise and fall of the famous band that garnered fans such as Dave Grohl and the late Adam Yauch, who produced one of their albums in 2007. It also shows their transition from a thrashing, loud, violent group to their current embrace of Rastafarian principles. [LA Weekly]


Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 12.49.58 PM.pngSebadoh, the 25-year-old side project of Dinosaur Jr.'s Lou Barlow, is aging pretty well. They're back and touring in support of their new EP, Secret. See them tonight at Schubas. [Flavorpill]

Learn about the amazing George Kagan, an artist who used to work on a factory assembly line until he took it upon himself to build wooden radios all by hand. WBEZ culture reporter Alison Cuddy interviews him tonight at Intuit about his exhibit at Ex-Static. [Chicago Reader]


Screen shot 2012-08-14 at 1.31.51 PM.pngBaltimore shoe-gazers Lower Dens rock out at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen tonight. [Time Out]

Catch a screening of the movie On the Road, based on the Jack Kerouac novel, a month before it's set to be released in theaters in a magnificent outdoors setting: the Somerset House's courtyard. It's the first night of their outdoor movie series, Film4 Summer Screen 2012. [Time Out]

Morning Funnies: Bar-Mitzvah Voguing + Fight Club, the Rom-Com


In honor of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone's 54th today, here is a 1992 video of a young man named Shaun Sperling voguing at his Madonna-themed Bar Mitzvah. We love that his mom (we're assuming) gives him a big kiss at the end and hands him his blazer. That's good Mom-ing. [Gawker]

tumblr_m8s1gbNuM71r3vccgo1_250.pngtumblr_m8s1gbNuM71r3vccgo2_250.pngmarsrover-tweet.pngThe delightful Twitter rapport between Britney Spears and the Mars Curiosity Rover. These two should host a morning show together. [BritneySpears;ParisHiltonSexSlave]

asilayfrying.pngBehold: As I Lay Frying, a Tumblr that pairs literary quotes with photos of donuts. [Via HuffPo]

Here's Fight Club re-cut to look like a '90s rom-com trailer. Sometimes a gentleman's love is far from gentle. [Vulture]

A super-cut of iconic sunglasses in 50 years of movies. Can someone please make one of these for sunglasses on TV so this can be included? [GorillaMask]

mm-s5-john-slattery-590.jpgYayesssss: John Slattery is going to appear on multiple episodes of the now-filming resurrection of Arrested Development. [PopCultureBrain]

And speaking of Mad Men stars making cameos on our favorite shows, Jon Hamm will be playing a talking toilet on the upcoming season of Bob's Burgers. [EW]

jonhamm-nala.pngJon Hamm, Nala; Nala, Jon Hamm. ... [AfternoonSnoozeButton]
cress-keyboard.pngA Redditor planted watercress in their co-worker's dirty keyboard (while that person was away on vacation) and posted a bunch of photos of the growth process. [HyperVocal]

IMG_1326_640.jpg"Public Beach" felt collage by artist Jacopo Rosati. [LaughingSquid]
tumblr_m87o2nWrK21qa629po1_500.jpgGahh! A baby Pudu, the world's smallest deer, at Bristol Zoo Gardens in the U.K. [RatsOff]

2:54's "Sugar" Is Our Music Video of the Day


We've been fans of British sister duo 2:54 for a while now (read their feature in PAPER's Summer Music Issue HERE) and were excited to see they have a new music video out, "Sugar."  In it, we see the gals performing their sludgy rock at a dark club where glamorous denizens can be seen dancing up on each other in the shadows.  The song comes from the band's self-titled debut EP, out now via Fat Possum.  Watch the video above.