Posts tagged with "Sundance Film Festival"

photo by Chris Cuffaro for use by 360 Magazine

THE GO-GO’S ANNOUNCE 2021/2022 TOUR DATES

THE GO-GO’S ANNOUNCE 2021/2022 NORTH AMERICAN WEST COAST DATES IN CELEBRATION OF THEIR UPCOMING INDUCTION INTO THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME  

The multi-platinum selling Los Angeles rock band The Go-Go’s announce their 2021/2022 North American west coast dates to celebrate the band’s upcoming induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The new live dates include intimate shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day performances at The Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 25 at 10am PT.

We really missed seeing and playing for our fans and we are happy we can experience and enjoy live music with each other once again. We are looking forward to celebrating and bringing in a brighter new year with everyone,” says The Go-Go’s.

With concerts finally making a very welcomed return, longtime fans can celebrate with the newest inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the new generation of fans can see the band that they discovered through the documentary,” says Art Cisneros, The Go-Go’s Manager.

As the first multi-platinum-selling, all-female band to play their own instruments, write their own songs and soar to No. 1 on the album charts, The Go-Go’s are the most successful female rock band of all time.

Rooted in the early L.A. punk scene, Charlotte Caffey (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals), Belinda Carlisle (lead vocals), Gina Schock (drums, percussion, vocals), Kathy Valentine (bass guitar, vocals) and Jane Wiedlin (guitar, vocals) didn’t PLAY the part of bad girls; they were genuine punk rockers. Now, this October, The Go-Go’s will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside Tina Turner, Carole King, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters and Todd Rundgren.

In 2020 the band released their documentary THE GO-GO’S, which first premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, achieving a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and won a 2020 Critics Choice Award for “Best Music Documentary” in addition to receiving the honor of “Most Compelling Living Subjects in a Documentary.” Directed by Alison Ellwood, the candid and archive-rich documentary assesses the group’s place in music and the first to set the record straight about their historical ascent to global stardom. The Go-Go’s first new recording in nearly 20 years, Club Zero hit the Top 10 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart upon its release and the documentary captures them working on an early version of the song.

Date                 Venue City, State
Dec 28 SF Masonic Auditorium San Francisco, CA (Purchase Tickets
Dec 29 Microsoft Theater Los Angeles, CA (Purchase Tickets
Dec 31 The Venetian Theatre Las Vegas, NV (Purchase Tickets
Jan 1 The Venetian Theatre Las Vegas, NV (Purchase Tickets
Jan 3 Civic Theatre San Diego, CA (Purchase Tickets)

The Go-Go’s rose to fame following the release of their 1981 debut album, Beauty and the Beat, a collection of infectious tracks with huge hooks. Locked at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for six consecutive weeks, Beauty and the Beat was one of the most successful debut albums of all time, featuring the hits Our Lips Are Sealed (one of Rolling Stone’s ‘Top 100 Pop Singles’) and “We Got the Beat” and resulted in a Grammy® nomination for Best New Artist. The Go-Go’s became a global phenomenon and blazed brand-new trails in music – for women in particular.

 

photo by The Influence for use by 360 Magazine

Danny A. Abeckaser Next To Be Seen In Lansky

ACTOR PROFILE: DANNY A. ABECKASER: NEXT TO BE SEEN IN LANSKY, THE MUCH-ANTICIPATED SUMMER CRIME FEATURE OUT JUNE 25, 2021

You may recognize him from The Irishman, Mob Town or The Iceman, even Holy Rollers. NOW, see him in LANSKY.

The much buzzed about film, starring Harvey Keitel, Sam Worthington, Danny A. Abeckaser, David James Elliott, Minka Kelly, David Cade, John Magaro, AnnaSophia Robb, among others, hits theatres and digital streaming channels on June 25, 2021. LANSKY, by writer/director Eytan Rockaway, is set to be the crime-drama for summer 2021.

Rockaway’s script was inspired by actual conversations that took place between Eytan’s father, Rob Rockaway and gangster Meyer Lansky before his death. Danny departs his often-seen mobster and nightlife character roles for the other side of the law, playing an FBI agent.

“LANSKY is exciting cinema and a historical piece of history, a great story to be told. I am thrilled to be a part of such an incredible ensemble of actors, and it was an amazing experience making this movie. Each day on set was a blast and Eytan created a great movie.” – Actor, Danny A. Abeckaser

Film Synopsis: David Stone (Sam Worthington), a renowned but down-on-his-luck writer, has the opportunity of a lifetime when he receives a surprise call from Meyer Lansky (Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel). For decades, authorities have been trying to locate Lansky’s alleged nine-figure fortune and this is their last chance to capture the aging gangster before he dies. With the FBI close behind, (Abeckaser as one of the lead FBI Agents), the Godfather of organized crime reveals the untold truth about his life as the notorious boss of Murder Inc. and the National Crime Syndicate.

Abeckaser, last seen in The Irishman, is expected to show us new range as an actor in the feature, alongside Worthington and longtime friend Keitel, who starred in his directorial debut, First We Take Brooklyn (2018). Abeckaser’s next film, I LOVE US, is a feature romantic drama that he stars in and directs, due out in September 2021, further showcasing his depth in the emotional film. LANSKY co-star David James Elliott also appears in the film.

LANSKY was directed and written by Eytan Rockaway, produced by Jeff Hoffman, Robert Ogden Barnum, Lee Broda, and Eric Binns, with cinematography by Peter Flinckenberg, editing by Steven Rosenblum and Martin Hunter, and original music by Max Aruj.

Producer Jeff Hoffman says “All of the performances are incredible – Keitel is masterful and penetrating, Worthington is gritty and determined, and Magaro was the perfect choice to play the younger Lansky/Keitel. Abeckaser brings dynamic presence in his role as an FBI agent. Rockaway does a sensational job telling this remarkable story portraying the complex personality of an historically important gangster known as the Mob’s Accountant.

Danny A. Abeckaser (“Danny A”) is an Israeli born and Brooklyn raised actor, director, and producer. Danny can most recently be seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman alongside Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, as well as his own directed film Mob Town alongside Jamie-Lynn Sigler, David Arquette and Jennifer Esposito, both currently on digital streaming.

Under 2B Films production and distribution company, Abeckaser has directed four films to date since his directorial debut in 2018 and produced over 13 films including several documentaries. Selective when it comes to the projects he works on, Abeckaser’s first major foray into cinema was 2010’s Sundance favorite Holy Rollers directed by Kevin Asch, where Danny stars alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Bartha, also a producer on the movie. Following the film’s success, Danny went on to land one of his better-known roles as Dino Lapron in The Iceman, appearing alongside Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, and James Franco. To date, he regards the part as one of his favorite and most challenging roles. Abeckaser continued momentum completing a longtime project writing and co-producing the film Club Life, which was loosely based on his life as a New York nightclub power player. Danny also had small roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, HBO’s Vinyl, and many other notable film projects, before his first leading role in The Stand Up Guy. Other films produced and released from 2B Films include The Last Shaman, First We Take Brooklyn, Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story (December 2020), The Curse of Sleeping Beauty, Davi’s Way and The Experimenter. 

Follow Abeckaser on Instagram and head to theatres, VOD and digital on June 25 to watch LANSKY.

Ava Della Pietra - Press Photo by Prospect PR for use by 360 Magazine

Ava Della Pietra QxA

“Ava Della Pietra is a pop powerhouse sure to inspire her listeners with her passionate lyricism and beautiful delivery.”  –360 Magazine

“Ava Della Pietra Follows Breakthrough Year With “Home,” her “Inspiring, Empowering…pop ray of hope” Parade Magazine

“With pure pop sensibility, catchy hooks and heartfelt lyrics…this young Broadway veteran aims at inspiring young listeners to feel proactive and empowered. Her spot-on vocals and sweet delivery will have you singing along and cheering for the power of open-minded activism.”  –Parade

Proceeds will be donated to charities dedicated to reuniting and rehoming children at the southern border.

Listen to “Home” by Ava Della Pietra here.

15-year-old singer/songwriter Ava Della Pietra has just released her most poignant single to-date with “Home,” inspired by the devastating stories of families torn apart on the southern border. Parade Magazine called the song “inspiring,” “empowering,” and a “pop ray of hope,” with “pure pop sensibility, catchy hooks and heartfelt lyrics…inspiring young listeners to feel proactive and empowered.” With lyrics that touch on fear, loneliness, and hope, “Home” is universal anthem for any young person struggling with life’s challenges, as relevant to those on the southern border as to the everyday teen. Parade adds, “Her spot-on vocals and sweet delivery will have you singing along and cheering for the power of open-minded activism.” Proceeds from the single and merchandise will be donated to charities dedicated to reuniting and rehoming children at the southern border.

Over the past few years, Ava has emerged as one of the most promising young artists on the pop scene today. Having established herself on the Broadway stage in the original cast of School of Rock, Ava’s debut single “Christmas Tonight” was named one of the “Best Holiday Songs” of the year by Tiger Beat Magazine, alongside artists like the Jonas Brothers and Liam Payne, and her follow-up single “Optimist” reached #50 on the Top 40 Radio chart, earning praise from American Songwriter, Just Jared Jr., and Newsday, who called Ava a “rising star.”

Produced by Will Hicks (Ed Sheeran, Jamie Lawson), “Home” is one of fifty songs that Ava has written, and the first of ten already produced, to be released in the coming months. Ava collaborated with some of the world’s top producers on her upcoming album, including Hicks, Justin Gray (Avril Lavigne, Mariah Carey), and Adrian Gurvitz (Andra Day, Jesse McCartney, Cheetah Girls). Alongside “Home” and “Optimist,” the album will also feature songs like “Forgotten,” dedicated to the people of Puerto Rico suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, as well as Ava’s upcoming single “Isolation,” slated for release this spring.

“Over the past few years, I have been shocked to learn about the terrible conditions that children have had to endure at the border–being separated from their families and left alone,” Ava said. “I also know that there are kids around the world struggling in other ways, including emotional challenges, pressures at school, problems at home, and so much more. I hope this song can encourage people to lend a helping hand and be there for one another.”

A multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, bass, guitar, violin, and ukulele, Ava began performing at age four and writing songs at age five. She performed on the national tours of “Les Misérables” and “White Christmas” before joining the original cast of “Broadway’s School of Rock”, and has been featured on “Good Morning America”, “Sesame Street”, the Tony Awards, “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, and more. Ava has performed at the Sundance Film Festival, the Great South Bay Music Festival, the New York Tennis Open, and at Madison Square Garden in front of 20,000 Knicks fans, as well as at My Father’s Place in Roslyn, New York, and in front of a sold-out crowd at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall. Most recently Ava launched “Talking Tunes with Ava Della Pietra,” a new music column with Teen Kid News, where she is reviewing popular hits. Ava was also featured on the soundtrack for “Secondhand Lions: A New Musical.”

A supporter of both local and national charitable organizations, Ava is dedicated to advocating for young people, inspiring others to believe in themselves and follow their dreams. For more information on Ava Della Pietra, please visit her website.

Here at 360 Magazine, we sat down with Ava to discuss the release of “Home,” her rise to fame, and how she finds inspiration for her soulful songwriting.

  1. Are there any specific charities you’d like to shout out of which to proceeds of “Home” are going toward? Yes, I am giving proceeds from “Home” to non-profit agencies helping unaccompanied minors to reunite with their families and find homes.

    2. You’ve written over 50 songs! That’s very impressive. Where do you find inspiration for writing all of these tracks?  

    Most of my inspiration comes from real life. I really enjoy expressing my emotions through my songwriting because I think it helps me discover more about myself. Sometimes, I will just be walking around my house and a thought will pop into my head. Unconsciously, I come up with a melody to that phrase, and occasionally I’ll create a song. Other times, I’ll simply sit down and think, “I want to write a song today!”

    3. Of the songs you’ve written that haven’t yet been produced, what other themes do you discuss within your music that you think are most important to bring awareness to?

    A few themes I explore in my songs are love, empowerment, mental health, confidence, and friendship. For example, I’ve recently written a few songs about overcoming insecurities. Something I like about my music is that even though a couple of my songs may focus on sad topics, almost all of them have a positive or hopeful spin to them by the end.

    4. Even though other young people’s situations may not be as severe as those at the southern border, how do you see “Home” as a relatable anthem for all listeners?

    “Home” is about lending a helping hand to those in need. This idea can apply to a wide range of situations, from daily encouragement to serious national issues, such as the southern border.

    5. What is the most standout performance of your career, in your opinion?

    In terms of acting and performing arts, “School of Rock” on Broadway was definitely a dream come true. In regard to my singer-songwriter career, Sundance Film Festival was one of my favorite experiences. I also really enjoyed singing the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game, singing at My Father’s Place, and traveling out to Las Vegas to perform.

    6. You recently launched “Talking Tunes with Ava Della Pietra.” What artists do you particularly enjoy and inspire your own performance?

    Some of my favorite artists are Lauv, Conan Gray, Halsey, Lewis Capaldi, and Camila Cabello. I also like Ed Sheeran and his performance style. He uses a loop pedal which allows him to add the different layers of a song live. I’ve recently started to use a looper, and I find it really fun to incorporate all 5 of my instruments into my performance.

    7. Do you have a “dream musical” you’d love to be involved with in the future?

    I’m a huge fan of “Dear Evan Hansen”, so being a part of that musical would be absolutely incredible!

    8. You began performing at such a young age. When did you, or your parents, first recognize your natural ability to perform?

    I’ve been singing more or less my whole life! I was in my first community theater production when I was four, and people began to approach my parents and encourage them to find me an agent. When I was six, I booked my first role in the National Tour of “Les Misérables.” Everything kind of skyrocketed from there.

    9. What are you most excited about regarding the upcoming release of your debut album?

    I’m just so excited for people to listen to my music. Over the past year, my style has changed a lot, and I can’t wait for people to hear what I’ve been working on!

Book illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Idris Elba × HarperCollins

Iconic and multi-award-winning actor, musician, filmmaker, and activist Idris Elba has signed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins to publish a range of children’s books launching in 2022.

In a major UK/US co-publication deal, world rights were acquired by Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive Publisher, HCCB UK, and Suzanne Murphy, President, and Publisher, HCCB US, from Crystal Mahey-Morgan at OWN IT! Entertainment Ltd.

Publishing will include picture books and fiction featuring a character and world imagined and developed by Idris and his writing partner Robyn Charteris, who has written numerous live-action drama, pre-school and animation programs for BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company, and Endemol as well as educational theatre for schools. Idris Elba said, “I feel privileged to have the opportunity to bring stories inspired by my daughter to life with my incredible partner Robyn Charteris, and the powerhouse team at HarperCollins.”

Executive Publisher HCCB UK, Ann-Janine Murtagh said, “Idris Elba is one of the most iconic and multi-talented creatives of his generation and I am delighted that he is joining the HarperCollins Children’s Books list. From the outset, Idris had a very clear vision of the characters and stories he has imagined and is passionate about creating books that will appeal to all children. Robyn Charteris has a fantastic track record in writing for children, working with some of the biggest producers of children’s entertainment, and I am hugely excited to also welcome her to the world of children’s books. I feel privileged that Idris has entrusted us to bring his stories to life and I cannot wait to share them with children across the globe.”

President and Publisher HCCB US, Suzanne Murphy said, “Idris Elba is a creative force, who has many wonderful stories to tell. We are honored to be working with him and with Robyn Charteris to bring Idris’s rich and imaginative storytelling to the world of children’s books, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the HarperCollins family.”

IDRIS ELBA

Golden Globe and SAG winning Idris Elba captivates audiences as an actor, producer, and director, and continually secures his position as the one to watch in Hollywood. He is the first actor to receive dual SAG awards in one evening.

Idris’s career skyrocketed on the small screen in some of the UK’s top-rated shows. Soon after, he landed the role of Stringer Bell in HBO’s critically acclaimed series The Wire (NAACP Image Award nomination). In 2010, Idris landed the title role on the BBC mini-series Luther, which earned him a Golden Globe, SAG Award, and four Emmy nominations. In 2005, he began his film career; his credits include American Gangster (Golden Globe nomination), Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom (Golden Globe nomination), Beasts of No Nation (SAG Award, Golden Globe nomination), and the Oscar-nominated film Molly’s Game.  He can be seen this April in the Netflix film Concrete Cowboy, which he also produced, and this summer will be starring in The Suicide Squad 2.  Other upcoming films include The Harder They Fall and Three Thousand Years of Longing.

Behind the camera, Idris made his feature-film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with Yardie. In 2013, he founded his production company, Green Door Pictures, to champion diversity of thought. With Green Door, Idris released the documentary Mandela, My Dad and Me, produced the TV mini-series Guerrilla for Showtime, and created, produced, and appears in the Sky comedy series In the Long Run. He also created, produced, and starred in the Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie.

ROBYN CHARTERIS

Robyn began her career writing educational theatre for schools and charitable organizations internationally before graduating to television. For television she has written on numerous live-action drama, pre-school, and animation programs for the BBC, Channel 4, the Jim Henson Company, Channel 5, Initial Kids (Endemol), Carlton TV, Gullane, Hit Entertainment, Granada, SABC, Urban Brew, Disney, and M-Net.

Her credits include a BAFTA-winning children’s drama series for CBBC, creating and writing one of the first original 52-episode pre-school series for the launch of the digital channel CBeebies, creative consultancy for Mattel Toys and Lego, and a master’s degree in Playwriting.

ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS
HarperCollins UK is a division of HarperCollinsPublishers, the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries, and was named Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards 2018. With over two hundred years of history and more than 120 unique imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year, in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins UK has offices in London, Glasgow, Honley, and Manchester and can be found online.

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS, UK 

HarperCollins Children’s Books, unprecedented three times winner of Children’s Publisher of the Year (2014, 2015, 2016), is one of the leading publishers of children’s books, recognized for nurturing new talent as well as boasting a reputable list of established bestselling authors. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children’s classics, including The Chronicles of Narnia, Mary Poppins, the Paddington stories, The Cat in the Hat, and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and to some of the biggest names in children’s literature past and present, including Judith Kerr, David Walliams, Lauren Child, David Baddiel, Oliver Jeffers, and Michael Morpurgo.

HARPERCOLLINS CHILDREN’S BOOKS, US: 

HarperCollins Children’s Books is one of the leading publishers of children’s and teen books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many timeless treasures and bestsellers such as Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Where the Wild Things Are and The Hate U Give; series including the Chronicles of Narnia, Ramona, Warriors, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, Divergent and Red Queen; and graphic and illustrated novels such as Nimona, Invisible Emmie and New Kid. Consistently at the forefront of digital innovation, HarperCollins Children’s Books delights readers through engaging storytelling across a variety of formats and platforms, including the largest young adult (YA) book community, Epic Reads. HarperCollins Children’s Books is a division of HarperCollinsPublishers, which is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, has operations in 17 countries, and is a subsidiary of News Corp.

You can visit HarperCollins Children’s Books at HarperCollins Children, Epic Reads, and at HarperCollinsPublishers.

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

The Go-Go’s Are Back!

The Go-Go’s, the iconic all female L.A. punk band, will release their first new recording in nearly 20 years, “Club Zero,” on July 31st on UMe. The band can be seen working on an early version of the song in their new documentary The Go-Go’s, directed by Alison Ellwood (Laurel Canyon, History of the Eagles) which premieres August 1st at 9 pm ET/PT on SHOWTIME. View the official trailer HERE and music HERE.

Propelled by the spirited, melodic punch we’ve come to expect from the Southern California band, as well as a catchy, call-to-action chorus, “Club Zero” will certainly join the ranks among an esteemed catalog of Go-Go’s classics.

The self-produced track was created via email exchanges amongst band members and recorded at Lucky Recording in S.F. with Co-Producer/Mixer/Engineer Travis Kasperbauer and in Los Angeles with Lead Vocal Recording/Producer Gabe Lopez. As the band’s stance has always been fervent when it comes to relevant issues, the anthemic, punk-infused paean arrives just in time for a world in desperate need of a voice of optimism and change:

“HEY WE’VE GOT SOMETHING TO SAY

‘GONNA MAKE THE WORLD SHAKE’

READY OR NOT HERE WE ARE”

A live version of “Club Zero” featured in The Go Go’s documentary shows the evolution of the track as the band writes and works out the melody in preparation for their performance at their early stomping grounds The Whisky a Go Go on The Sunset Strip. The documentary directed by Alison Ellwood (Eagles, Laurel Canyon) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January to standing ovations and critical acclaim. With full access to The Go-Go’s, both past and present, this candid archive-rich documentary assesses the group’s place in music history as it focuses on their roots as a formidable contender in L.A.’s late ‘70s punk scene, detailing their rise to the top as they become one of the decade’s most beloved acts as well as an unstoppable force. It also examines the personalities and dynamics behind their rise, fall, and numerous reincarnations. Until this definitive film, there has never been a serious appraisal of and showcase for The Go-Go’s’ talents or achievements – as musicians, groundbreakers, but even more so, as survivors.

To date, The Go-Go’s have the notable distinction of being the only all-female band to write their own songs and play their own instruments on a #1 album. Formed in 1978, they were a vital part of the early Los Angeles punk scene. Following the release of their debut album in 1981, the landmark multi-platinum Beauty And The Beat, they topped the Billboard 200 chart for six consecutive weeks and received a nomination for Best New Artist at The 24th Annual Grammy® Awards. Their 1982 follow-up, Vacation, hit Top Ten on the Billboard 200 and featured the Top Ten title track “Vacation.” Overall, they have sold over 7 million records worldwide and continue to tour with the “classic lineup” from 1981 – Belinda Carlisle (vocals), Jane Wiedlin (guitar), Charlotte Caffey (guitar), Kathy Valentine (bass) and Gina Schock (drums). More recently, Head Over Heels, a musical featuring the songs of The Go-Go’s, had a successful run on Broadway in July of 2018.

The Go-Go’s is fully financed by Polygram Entertainment, the film and television division of Universal Music Group, and presented and produced by Polygram, Universal Music Publishing Group, Interscope Films, Fine Point Films and Fadoo Productions. Alison Ellwood (History of The Eagles, American Jihad) directs the film with Trevor Birney, Corey Russell and Eimhear O’Neill producing. Polygram Entertainment’s David Blackman and Daniel Inkeles are executive producing; the creative team also includes editor Brett Banks and executive producers Brendan J. Byrne. Wally Eltawashy & Arturo Cisneros serve as co-executive producers.

Follow The Go-Go’s: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Website

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MY MOTHER

Directed by Beniamino Barrese


The critically acclaimed documentary on legendary model-turned-activist Benedetta Barzini

Opens NY on DEC 6 at QUAD CINEMA & LA on Dec 13 at LAEMMLE MONICA

Upcoming screenings & QA’s w/Beniamino Barrese & Benedetta Barzini:

NY – Nov 16 at MoMI

LA – DEADLINE’s “For the Love of Docs” on NOV 19 at THE LANDMARK

Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival, Hot Docs, Frameline


Benedetta Barzini wants to disappear. An iconic fashion model in the 1960s, she became a muse to Warhol, Dali, Penn and Avedon. As a radical feminist in the 1970s, she fought for the rights and emancipation of women. But at the age of 75, she is fed up with all the roles that life has imposed upon her and decides to leave everything and everybody behind, to disappear to a place as far as possible from the gaze of the camera. Only her son Beniamino is permitted to witness her journey. Having filmed her since he was a child in spite of all her resistance, he now wants to make a film about her, to keep her close for as long as possible — or, at least, as long as his camera keeps running. The making of the film turns into a battle between mother and son, a stubborn fight to capture the ultimate image of Benedetta — that of her liberation.

WATCH TRAILER HERE.

Italy / 94 Minutes / 1.85:1 / DCP / Color

In English and Italian with English subtitles


Charles Wachter

Charles Wachter is the Emmy Award-winning founder and president of Hard Twenty. He has produced over thirty television series, most recently he served as the executive producer and show-runner for Apple’s Planet of the Apps, MTV’s Fear Factor, as well as numerous network and cable television shows including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution for ABC, King of the Nerds  for TBS, and the reboot of American Gladiators for NBC. Prior to alternative television, Charles was an English major at Yale, a Sundance Film Festival Institute Finalist, and has a graduate degree in film from NYU. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.

DIRTY JOHN

ERIC BANA CAST OPPOSITE CONNIE BRITTON IN BRAVO MEDIA’S ‘DIRTY JOHN’

 

From Universal Cable Productions, in association with Los Angeles Times Studios and Atlas Entertainment, Bana To Play John Meehan

 

Eric Bana (MUNICH and currently starring in THE FORGIVEN) is set to star opposite Connie Britton (NASHVILLE, FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) in the first season of Bravo Media’s scripted anthology series DIRTY JOHN, based on the articles and breakout true crime podcast of the same name from Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard.  Marking his U.S. television debut, Bana will star as John Meehan, a handsome and romantic charmer who sweeps Debra Newell (Britton) off her feet and pulls her into his web of lies.  The series chronicles the true story of how a romance with Meehan spiraled into secrets, denial and manipulation.  DIRTY JOHN is produced by Universal Cable Productions (UCP), in association with Los Angeles Times Studios and Atlas Entertainment, and will be executive produced and written by Alexandra Cunningham (CHANCE, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES). Richard Suckle and Charles Roven will serve as executive producers for Atlas Entertainment; Mark Herzog, Christopher G. Cowen and Chris Argentieri will serve as executive producers for Los Angeles Times Studios; Britton and Bana will also serve as executive producers.

Bana was first introduced to American audiences in the title role of Mark “Chopper” Read in the feature film CHOPPER, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was then released in the U.S. to critical notice after its Australian success. Bana earned awards from the Australian Film Critics Circle and the Australian Film Institute for his portrayal of “Chopper.”

Bana was seen co-starring in Ridley Scott’s BLACK HAWK DOWN as Delta Sgt. First Class “Hoot” Gibson, one of a group of elite US soldiers opposite Josh Hartnett, Ewan McGregor and Tom Sizemore. The war epic, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer for Sony, is based on journalist Mark Bowden’s best-selling account of the 1993 US mission in Mogadishu, Somalia. Shortly thereafter, Eric starred as the title role of Bruce Banner in THE HULK for director Ang Lee and Universal Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics character. He was also featured as Hector the Prince of Troy in Warner Bros.’ TROY, for director Wolfgang Peterson.  The film was based on Homer’s “The Iliad”, and co-starred Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom.  The following year, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed MUNICH, about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Bana’s other credits include J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster hit STAR TREK, Judd Apatow’s FUNNY PEOPLE opposite Adam Sandler, Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill, the action-thriller HANNA with Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett, and LONE SURVIVOR alongside Mark Wahlberg. He can currently be seen in THE FORGIVEN, opposite Forest Whitaker, directed by Roland Joffe.

Bana is represented by WME and Sloan, Offer, Weber and Dern.

For a photo of Eric Bana: click here.

About Bravo Media:

Bravo Media is the premier lifestyle and entertainment brand that drives cultural conversation around its high-quality, interactive original content across all platforms. The network has a diverse slate of original programming that includes scripted series “Imposters,” “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” and the recently announced anthology series “Dirty John,” along with unscripted favorites such as Emmy award-winning “Top Chef,” “Vanderpump Rules,” “Below Deck,” “Southern Charm” and the popular “Million Dollar Listing” and “The Real Housewives” franchises. Bravo also boasts the only live late-night talk show on television with the critically acclaimed “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen,” which has become a nightly destination for A-list celebrities. Available in 87 million homes, Bravo is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Watch Bravo anywhere: On Demand, online or across mobile and connected TVs. Bravo has been an NBCUniversal cable network since December 2002 and first launched in December 1980.

About Universal Cable Productions:

Universal Cable Productions (UCP) creates innovative and critically acclaimed original scripted content for all media platforms. Its robust slate of programming includes:  the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning drama “Mr. Robot,” the Golden Globe nominated “The Sinner,” “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G,” “Suits,” “Colony,” and “Shooter” for USA Network; “12 Monkeys,” “Channel Zero,” “Happy!,” “Killjoys” and “The Magicians” for SYFY; “The Purge” for USA and SYFY; “Dirty John,” “Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce,” and “Imposters” for Bravo; “The Arrangement” and “The Royals” for E!; “The Umbrella Academy” for Netflix; “Homecoming” for Amazon; “Impulse” for YouTube Red; and “HarmonQuest” for VRV. UCP’s content library also features critic and fan favorites such as the Emmy-award winning “Monk” as well as “Battlestar Galactica” and “Psych.” Universal Cable Productions is a part of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. Follow us @UCPisTV.

The BANDWAGON Tour

Four select markets for country music superstars and GRAMMY, CMA and ACM Award-winners Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town’s co-headlining The Bandwagon Tour, scheduled to go on-sale Friday, March 16.

The March 16 on-sale includes tour stops in Charlotte, North Carolina (7/12), Cincinnati, Ohio (7/13), Hartford, Connecticut (7/20) and West Palm Beach, Florida (8/4).

Special guests joining Miranda Lambert and Little Big Town on The Bandwagon Tour include Turnpike Troubadours and The Steel Woods for select dates; both of whom joined Lambert for dates on her own Livin’ Like Hippies Tour. Also, on the first weekend is Natalie Hemby, who has penned #1 hits for both Miranda and Little Big Town.  In addition, singer/songwriter newcomer, Tenille Townes will join for all dates on The Bandwagon Tour.

Ticket on-sale dates to be announced throughout the upcoming weeks. Fans can stay up-to-date by visiting MirandaLambert.com and LittleBigTown.com for more information.  Live Nation is the official promoter.

The Bandwagon Tour dates

*(denotes Turnpike Troubadours select dates)

**(denotes The Steel Woods select dates)

***(denotes Natalie Hemby select dates)

Tenille Townes joins for all dates

Bold denotes new date added