Photo: Courtesy of Sundance The Sundance Film Festival is once again upon us. Actors are becoming feature directors (Rupert Everett, Paul Dano, Ethan Hawke, Idris Elba). Comedies are being conflated with dramas. And Ann Dowd and Andrea Riseborough are lacing up their snow boots to walk to a lot of press events. (They will appear in a combined seven movies at the Park City fest.) Some new careers will be jump-started, while other industry veterans will acquire a fresh patina of indie credibility, and every movie will be racing to catch Sorry to Bother You , which has the inside lane on all other competitors in the U.S. Dramatic category. But why is it the front-runner when all we have are a bunch of brief plot synopses and some cast lists? Because, “In a speculative and dystopian not-too-distant future, black telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success — which propels him into a macabre universe.” The movie, which was written and directed by Boots Riley, also stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, and Omari Hardwick. Our apologies to everyone not involved in the making of Sorry to Bother , and we wish you all the best of luck in January. U.S. Dramatic Competition American Animals (Director and screenwriter: Bart Layton) — The unbelievable but mostly true story of four young men who mistake their lives for a movie and attempt one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history. Cast: Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, Udo Kier. World premiere. Blaze (Director: Ethan Hawke) — A reimagining of the life and times of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas Outlaw Music movement; he gave up paradise for the sake of a song. Cast: Benjamin Dickey, Alia Shawkat, Josh Hamilton, Charlie Sexton. World premiere. Blindspotting (Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada) — A buddy comedy in a world that won’t let it be one. Cast: … [Read more...] about The 2018 Sundance Lineup Has Been Announced
Khaled isn’t the last guy carrying the torch for DJ-themed albums, but he is the most vocal and entertaining, the one angling for the biggest fish and, more often than not, hooking his catch. Photo: DJ Khaled/YouTube What makes a hit record soar? Is it vibrant melodies and impactful lyrics syncing up with driving, anthemic production? Is it the world-beating verve of a hungry new artist with a unique history and perspective? Is it the comforting voice of a household name or the familiarity of a beloved, time-tested melody reinterpreted for modern times? Is it all just chemistry, the careful mixing and matching of star power? These questions seem crucial to understanding the career path of DJ Khaled , the Palestinian American South Florida radio personality turned mogul, advertiser, and influencer who, 15 years ago this spring, dived into the business of star-studded rap compilations with 2006’s Listennn … The Album and never looked back. Khaled records carry on the same traditions as old DJ Clue and Kid Capri tapes and the tie-in soundtracks to films like Friday or Romeo Must Die , where an executive producer leverages their relationships with talented performers in order to hip the public to music that might not otherwise see release. Rappers make much more music than what we hear once or twice a year when a proper project drops. The enterprising compilation curator excels at coaxing artists into liberating gems from the vault or composing new music around a theme, and this sometimes results in classics like Romeo Must Die ’s Aaliyah and DMX hit “ Come Back in One Piece .” Now, with a fertile ecology of leaks sourced by hacks and files swiped out of studios, and with the curator class being poached by streaming services to pump out themed playlists, there isn’t as much of a drive to concoct commercial releases to house potent loosies from famous stars. (They can just drop a “pack” or a compilation of their own. Drake’s 2019 Care Package … [Read more...] about DJ Khaled Will Never Change. Why Should He?