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Tag Archives: Quentin Tarantino

The singer is known for her honesty in life and her music. Shes been talking about solitude, sobriety and how Quentin Tarantino convinced her to give up cocaine

Its been eight years since Fiona Apple last graced the world with a studio album, but an illuminating profile in the latest issue of the New Yorker, filled with a fair number of wild anecdotes involving her celebrity cohorts, serves to remind us of her brilliance. Here are six reasons why Apple is just the performer we need in this mixed-up, locked-down world.

She doesnt shy away from the difficult topics
Apple has said that her new album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, is about women and not being afraid to speak. Throughout her career she has spoken, in her songs and in the press, about her issues with depression, self-harm, OCD, PTSD, and the fact that, when she was 12, she was raped by a stranger.

In so doing, she paved the way for other women to speak about their experiences, from Kesha to Lady Gaga, and on to the #MeToo movement.

She has the best story about giving up cocaine
Every addict should just get locked in a private movie theatre with QT [Quentin Tarantino] and PTA [Paul Thomas Anderson] on coke, she jokingly told the New Yorker magazine. And theyll never want to do it again.

She can teach us a thing or two about self-isolation
Apple doesnt venture out much these days, save to walk her dog along the beach near her home in Venice Beach, California.

She has learned how to live a little more wisely
Once a bottle-of-vodka-a-day level drinker, Apple is now sober and has been vegan for many years.

She knows her political onions
Last summer, Apple pledged two years worth of earnings from her song Criminal to the While They Wait fund, which finances legal support and necessities for immigrants seeking asylum. In 2017, she released Tiny Hands for the Womens March on Washington. She has said that one of her latest tracks, For Her, was written in a cloud of rage after the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court Justice.

She has her priorities straight
In late 2012, Apple postponed the South American leg of her tour due to the ill-health of her dog, Janet.

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If youve got famous parents, your chances in the film industry appear to improve exponentially. If were serious about equality, this has to change

Interviewed by Variety at the Los Angeles premiere of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the actor Maya Hawke denied that a personal connection led to her being cast in Quentin Tarantinos latest film. Hawke is the daughter of Uma Thurman, who has appeared in three Tarantino films, and she argued that she had gone through the same casting process as other actors by sending in a self-taped audition piece with her father (Ethan Hawke). Its perhaps a sign of our changing times that she was even asked about this, since the open secret of pervasive nepotism in the film industry has seemed to bother remarkably few people since the days when the Barrymores became the first acting dynasty.

Variety (@Variety)

No nepotism here. Maya Hawke says she had to go through the same process as everyone else for her role in #OnceUponATimeInHollywood

July 23, 2019

Indeed, people who rightly get exercised about working-class actors being increasingly shut out of the film industry can become defensive when it comes to nepotism in film. When I recently questioned the casting of Honor Swinton-Byrne in her godmother Joanna Hoggs film The Souvenir alongside her mother, Tilda Swinton, people countered online that Swinton-Byrnes performance in the film was excellent. I fully agree with that assessment, but believe its worth discussing the casting in a prestigious film of a first-time actor whose mother met the director at the expensive school they attended as children. Films thrive on personal connections, and family collaborations or friendships have yielded invaluable work but its right to ask if this masks a financial and social ill. It seems a pattern in need of breaking.

First, its important to rule out talent as a valid counter-argument to charges of nepotism. A great many children of are adept at their craft. But this is unsurprising because they may have been exposed to it from a young age. If you accept that other people who have no family connections with acting can be equally talented, then nepotism has to be considered wrong. For instance, Sofia Coppola is an immensely talented director: that doesnt change the fact that her father, Francis Ford Coppola, helped her to make The Virgin Suicides, her debut feature, by producing it with his own company, American Zoetrope. Sofia Coppolas cousin, Jason Schwartzman, got his debut role in Rushmore through her. Another cousin, Nicolas Cage, made three films with Francis Ford Coppola at the outset of his career: Rumble Fish, The Cotton Club and Peggy Sue Got Married. (The word nepotism derives from the Latin, nepos, meaning nephew, and thence the Italian nipotismo, after the practice of popes giving jobs to their nephews).

Film-making is, of course, not a democracy. Theres a case to be made that artists should be allowed to create their work as they see fit. This is true, yet other inequalities in film are now being met with initiatives to correct, for instance, gender and racial disparities. This is right, because such moves address fundamental inequalities. But the fact that children of rich actors never seem to have trouble finding work also propagates systemic inequality. The phenomenon is so widespread that we dont even question the fact that the children of, for instance, Melanie Griffith and Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Bono, Will Smith and Johnny Depp are now becoming stars.

The issue of the employment of children and family members is hardly top priority for an industry still reeling from allegations of widespread sexual abuse, and which is still failing to represent, hire and reward women and minorities adequately. Creating an awkward red carpet moment, as Variety did in subjecting Maya Hawke to forensic questioning, is perhaps not the solution. The systemic nature of nepotism, as with industrial racism and sexism, requires asking tough questions of producers and creators. In so doing we may end up with an industry that is more open to recognising and paying talent fairly and reflecting a diverse, complex society.

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The Verve frontman has settled his dispute over Bitter Sweet Symphony but this wont be the last row over songwriting royalties

Richard Ashcroft received an outstanding contribution to British music accolade at the Ivor Novello awards last week, and took the opportunity to confirm that the rights to the Verves Bitter Sweet Symphony had been transferred back to him after a 22-year dispute with the Rolling Stones.

Famously, the soaring strings that propel the song are a sample of an orchestral version of the Stones The Last Time, and the Verve had been granted permission to use part of it in return for 50% of the track. However, the Stones late manager Allen Klein eventually sued, claiming a larger portion than agreed had been used, and royalties and joint songwriting credits were passed to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

As of last month, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards signed over all their publishing for Bitter Sweet Symphony, which was a truly kind and magnanimous thing for them to do, said Ashcroft, who had to relinquish credit for the melody and lyrics. Of course there was a huge financial cost, but any songwriter will know that there is a huge emotional price greater than the money in having to surrender the composition of one of your own songs. Richard has endured that loss for many years, a spokesperson for the Stones told Music Week. It is a good look for both parties: the Stones appear generous and gracious (though I cant imagine the loss of these particular royalties will do much to dent their bank balances), and Ashcroft gets the satisfaction of a wrong being publicly righted, at last. But this looks like a rare moment of optimism in an increasingly thorny and overgrown field.

The OneRepublic frontman and songwriter Ryan Tedder, who has created monster hits with and for Beyonc, Adele and Ariana Grande among others, told the BBC of his concerns about copyright lawsuits. Its a conversation in every writing session, he said. The odds of getting sued in this day and age are so high, were going to get to a point where nobody can write anything, because everything will be derivative of something else.

Once again, the damage caused by the Blurred Lines case, in which Marvin Gayes estate successfully sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, radiates outwards.

The blurring of lines between what is considered to be inspiration and what is deemed intentional copying is dangerous, and contradicts the generosity of spirit that often motivates artistic endeavours in the first place. It is a bizarre state of affairs, surely, when Jagger and Richards prove to be the voices of reason and common sense.

Linda Hamilton, will be back with Arnie and so will I

Linda Hamilton in Terminator: Dark Fate: I did not know that the sight of a grey-haired 62-year-old woman firing a machine gun could bring such joy. Photograph: PR

My relationship with the Terminator films resembles a long, troubled marriage. The early days were heart-stopping, thrilling and eye-opening. The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day are responsible for any number of terrifyingly vivid post-apocalyptic dreams and yet the three following films proved to be po-faced, crushing disappointments.

But I feel were about to get back on track. The trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate has been released, and the signs are tentatively conciliatory. Dark Fate does the decent thing and pretends that Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys never really happened. Just as Will & Grace was forced to ignore its original ending, which saw the pair separated for decades, in order for the comeback to make any sense whatsoever never complain, never explain this is a chance for the Terminator franchise to make amends. It worked for Halloween, the continuity of which has always been haphazard, so I look forward to seeing what the clean-slate approach does here.

Crucially, though, the band are back together. Like me, Arnie has been unable to walk away, so of course hes there, but the real news is that James Cameron has produced it, and the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton, seems to have a significant role. How wonderful that shes back and at the centre of it.

I did not know that the sight of a grey-haired 62-year-old woman firing a machine gun and then a rocket launcher at an evil killing machine could bring such joy until this trailer showed me the light.

Quentin Tarantino, not exactly on a charm offensive

Margot Robbie and Quentin Tarantino at the Cannes film festival Photograph: Benainous+Catarina+Perusseau/REX/Shutterstock

Quentin Tarantino showed off his petulant side at the Cannes film festival, where he was promoting his latest movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. A journalist from the New York Times asked him why Margot Robbie, who plays Sharon Tate, did not get more dialogue, given Robbies high billing and star status. Well I just reject your hypothesis, replied Tarantino curtly, leaving Robbie to answer the question with tact, while the director appeared to visibly stew.

Tarantino had not been stopped in the street or caught off-guard on his doorstep. He was being pressed about his film at a press conference where journalists had been invited to ask him questions. He may not have agreed with the point, but to sulk, rather than refute it with eloquence or analysis, is beneath him, and thats to say nothing of the irony in letting Robbie pick up the slack on his behalf.

But he has form in this area. Im here to sell my movie, this is a commercial for the movie, make no mistake, he told Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 News in 2013, when promoting Django Unchained. If that is his sales approach, he might consider rethinking the creative brief.

Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist

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