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Recent Entertainment articles from Daily Dot

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    The music industry and YouTube have been at odds about how musicians and record labels are paid for a while now, but the Black Keys’s Patrick Carney is inserting his input into the latest debate between YouTube and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor,

    On Monday Reznor, who also serves as Apple Music’s chief creative officer, spoke to Billboard along with other Apple Music executives on the future of streaming and the company after its first year. During that conversation, Billboard brought up the relationship between YouTube and the music labels, and Reznor slammed it for using “free, stolen content” to get to where it is today.

    “Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous,” Reznor said. “It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly. We’re trying to build a platform that provides an alternative—where you can get paid and an artist can control where their [content] goes.”

    A couple of days later, YouTube disputed Reznor’s claims in a statement that noted that music labels earn money from user-uploaded content such as fan videos and called the assertion that its content is unlicensed inaccurate.

    The overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements in place with YouTube to leave fan videos up on the platform and earn revenue from them. Today the revenue from fan uploaded content accounts for roughly 50 percent of the music industry’s YouTube revenue. Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false. To date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry–and that number is growing year on year.

    Enter Carney. As far as he's concerned, there is plenty of unlicensed music floating around YouTube, noting Thursday on Twitter that in just five minutes he could find at least 250 songs that were unlicensed. He doesn’t name anyone, but he also calls out the artists who have stakes in music companies that don’t push for artists getting fair pay.

    Carney and Reznor are on the same side of a battle that won't end anytime soon.

    H/T Pitchfork


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    The Grammys are finally catching up with the times: Today the Recording Academy announced it will consider streaming releases for the 2017 awards show. 

    This change drills down to language, which now takes into account "paid subscription, full catalogue, on-demand streaming/limited download platforms that have existed as such within the United States for at least one full year as of the submission deadline." This includes platforms like Tidal, Apple Music, and Spotify, but YouTube-only releases are still not eligible. Recording Academy Senior VP of Awards Bill Freimuth toldBillboard

    We think that [language] is actually a key to making this work for us and should really accomplish that goal of making sure that the artists who, I guess primarily for philosophical reasons, are releasing through streaming only, that they're eligible while excluding still most, if not all, the amateur recordings.

    This year saw more of a spotlight on artists and their "philosophical reasons." One of the most high-profile cases was Kanye West's publicly edited The Life of Pablo, which climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in April, based almost exclusively on streaming. Though, as Billboard points out, it's not clear which "version" of TLOP might be considered. Last month, Chance the Rapper's streaming-only Coloring Bookhit the Billboard top 10. In May, a petition started circulating asking the Academy to consider free music in the nomination process, with a focus on Chance. 

    This new language could have the most impact on rap and hip-hop releases, though releases on mixtape sites or SoundCloud are apparently not eligible. On a related note, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration has been renamed Best Rap/Sung Performance "to represent the current state and future trajectory of rap by expanding the category beyond collaborations between rappers and vocalists to include recordings by a solo artist who blurs the lines between rapping and singing." 

    H/T Billboard 


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    First Kim Kardashian launched her Kimoji app, and then Amber Rose and Blac Chyna followed suit with their own custom keyboards. Now an unexpected celeb—The Fault in Our Stars star Ansel Elgort—has thrown his hat into the ring. 

    Elgort's emoji app, Anselfie, lets users insert the teen heartthrob's face into their iMessages for $2.99 (Kardashian's is $1.99 and boasts more than 500 emoji and GIF options). 

    The app is only available for iOS, and it invites users to send an email to hi@anselfie.com with "any ideas for future ANSELFIES!"

    Thus far, fans on Twitter seem extremely pleased with the Anselfie experience:



    Yes, this, indeed, might be the best thing ever. 


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    BY GEOFF WEISS

    When it launched 10 years ago today, Lonelygirl15 broke the digital mold. 

    What seemed like a run-of-the-mill vlog created by a teenage everygirl named Bree turned out to be an intricately orchestrated fictional series—with groundbreaking interactive features and sci-fi plot twists—that was light years ahead of the curve in terms of showcasing YouTube’s potential as a platform for scripted content.

    And now, on this—the very day 10 years ago that Bree uploaded her first vlog—some of the minds behind the series are readying a reprise of sorts. Lonelygirl co-creator Miles Beckett has teamed with Jenni Powell, who was a die-hard fan before being hired as a production assistant on the show, to develop new content within the Lonelygirl universe.

    “There hasn’t been new Lonelygirl content since 2008,” says Beckett, who created the series alongside Greg Goodfried, (currently an agent at UTA), and Mesh Flinders, an associate creative director at Havas. “But there’s always been interest—the channel still gets hundreds of thousands of views, it’s constantly being referenced by other YouTubers as an inspiration for why they got into making content, and we’ve had a ton of fans asking for more.”

    So, what can curious onlookers expect? Says Powell: “Our plan is to explore some of the storylines that were kept open-ended for the fans, but also bring it to a whole new generation.” She noted that original actors and writers—including Jessica Rose, who starred as Bree—are slated to return. “We’re also developing content based around an entirely new set of characters.” (In the original series, Bree was sought out and ultimately killed by an evil cult called the Order for her "trait positive" blood type.)

    Check out a trailer for the relaunch, which could serve as a kickoff for more content to come:

    Like the original Lonelygirl series, the latest iteration will feature alternative reality game (ARG) components—meaning that the narrative will play out in real-time and audience members can interact with characters, help solve puzzles, and even become integrated into the show. The first time around, for instance, viewers could comment on Bree’s YouTube videos and she might respond. And in the 12-part finale, Beckett noted, one of the characters posted an encrypted file onto the web and asked viewers to help decrypt it, thanking whoever was able to do so by name in a subsequent episode.

    Beckett and Powell are determining distribution outlets and budgets, and say they are in preliminary discussions with potential partners.

    But while the original show debuted on YouTube in an era that predated smartphones—as well as a proliferation of competing video services—Beckett says the team is looking to exploit new technologies and platforms that could intensify Lonelygirl’s interactive mythology even more, including live video, 360-degree video, and virtual reality. 

    “When Lonelygirl came out, the No. 1 social network was Myspace, and people were watching on their desktops,” he explains. “Twitter had just started. There was no Foursquare, no Snapchat, nothing.” 

    With platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat, and Snapchat, he says, the storytelling possibilities today are far more immersive.


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    The most recent episode of The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo opens with the titular Gallo and co-star Freckle in the car, with Freckle recounting her latest sexual conquests. As Freckle, played by Jason Greene, details the boys, she makes sure to call out their race to Gallo, He interrupts. 

    “This could be a colorblind story,” argues Gallo. “There’s a race problem in Hollywood right now.”

    “And in America, a racism problem,” counters Freckle. “This story isn’t racist, it’s diverse. If everyone in it was white, then it would be racist, Calleb Gallo.”

    It’s better television than anything gracing prime time at the moment, and it’s actually a webseries.

    While quality web productions aren’t rare, they’re now often funded and produced by major players in the industry, from YouTube itself to multi-channel networks and funded networks like go90.

    Caleb Gallo is completely independent, the brainchild of actor and writer Brian Jordan Alvarez, who got help from friends and a single investor to get his vision off the ground earlier this year.

    The series, which premiered to raves in January, even made a stop at the Tribeca Film Festival, with a screening as part of its inaugural Digital Creators Marketplace. The project’s five-episode first season continues as an independent venture, filmed completely before Tribeca even began. While most webseries follow structured release schedules and fast turnarounds, Caleb Gallo has moved at its own pace. 

    In March, during a several-day sprint to finish the final three episodes, Alvarez and his crew opened up their intimate set to the Daily Dot to show firsthand what it takes to make high-quality, independent video.

    Freckle’s studio apartment in episode 4 serves double duty as Jason Greene’s actual apartment, and the crew has overrun it. It’s barely controlled chaos as everyone’s bags are shoved under a small kitchen table topped with snacks

    Greene, who’s commanding the room despite all this, is swapping outfits and eventually settles on a robe. We squeeze into the laundry nook, whispering as the crews try to shoot just a room away. Every minute is precious when you’re footing your own bill. Greene and Alvarez have been friends for 10 years, and after working together on a short video, “When your gender fluid friend gets more attention from straight guys than you,” they realized there was a space for Freckle in the pilot and beyond.

    “The character is a character I’ve been working on for many years, so it’s this character’s opportunity in this show, more so than me,” Greene said. “I always want Freckle to be flawed, I always want Freckle to be experiencing life and vulnerable, and we all are. I don’t want a perfect character; that doesn’t challenge me as an artist. So much of this project and show I can’t even explain. Things just work, they just make sense. I look forward to what he gives me to do.”

    To set the mood for Freckle’s boudoir, it takes the small army of everyone on hand. Daniele Watts, who joins this episode as Gallo’s ex-actress shaman sister (they’re both adopted), swoops in as set dresser as the group frantically flips camera positions—from shooting Freckle’s walk to the balcony and an interaction with the two men to their sexy entrance. 

    Candles are lit and scattered, crew bags are hidden with strategic sheets, and everyone is crowded onto the balcony. Greene’s neighbor even pokes his head out during the shoot to watch as the production stretches into the night.

    Episode 4 is also the first time Benicio, payed by Antonio Marziale, appears beyond the bounds of a FaceTime screen as Gallo’s faraway lover. Like his character, Marziale is not an American, and so, filming options have been limited. But he was able to come in for the final, emotional episodes that put Gallo and Benicio’s relationship into the real world. Marziale's character mirrors Benicio in other ways, too.

    “What I love about this show is Brian listens to what we have to say and then works on that,” said Marziale. “I identify as genderqueer, and I think a lot of Hollywood’s expectations of someone who presents in a masculine way and tries to box you into these jock roles. Even if that’s the way that I look, that’s so not the way that I am. I keep trying to push myself to bring my authenticity to what I am doing, and that’s so easy to do in this.”

    Benicio casually appears in a dress in this episode, and in any other series that might be the big reveal. But in Caleb Gallo it’s just moment before a tender kiss and a shirtless group dance party.

    “[The show is] so unique in its representation,” said Marziale, who jokes that he puts on “bro drag” for other roles (you can see him in the Netflix original Project Mc2 as a space prince). “A lot of the conversations [Brian and I] have end up in the script. Being able to celebrate my own femininity without shame is a lot of what we’re trying to do. Benicio will wear a dress, and Caleb will be like, ‘That’s amazing!’ It doesn’t have to be this big thing. I think that’s something you don’t see. Representation for people who are not cisgendered is very limited.”

    The shoot is a lot of waiting for omnipresent sirens and helicopters to clear the area to keep the sound pure and then a lot of hurry up to wrap shots as quickly as possible. While Marziale and Alvarez run through a tearful phone call on the balcony, the rest of the cast stays inside, sitting on the bed and talking in hushed tones between takes. 

    Even though Alvarez recorded his half of the scene separately in the car, he’s fully present, going off book and working through options with Marziale to keep the moment between them fresh.

    Of course, it’s Alvarez who has final say in what makes it to the web. He’s not on camera this night, so while he’s dressed like Gallo, he’s wearing many hats, from director to actor and from producer to writer. He says he does it because he thrives on the control .

    “It's just like when you're making movies as a little kid, and you do it all yourself,” he explained. “Essentially, I love doing everything myself, so as the production grows, it's a process finding people who I trust to take on parts of the workload that I am no longer capable of doing. But it's been happening quite organically.”

    While the series wrapped months ago, this most recent edition comes in the wake of the Orlando shooting. For Alvarez, putting out queer and accepting art in a time like this is more important than ever, even if the message remains unchanged since the show’s inception. It’s about love.

    “Telling stories like this is part of how we change the world,” Alvarez said. “If we can change people's minds by making them laugh ... Maybe getting someone who has been raised to have negative feelings toward gay people to say, ‘This show is fucking funny; maybe gay people aren't so bad,’ then we're doing our work.”


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    Postmodern Jukebox and singer Hailey Reinhart gave Soundgarden's '90s classic "Black Hole Sun" a jazzy revamp via YouTube on Thursday.

    The season 10 American Idol contestant twisted the Billboard hit into a swing-friendly, soulful sound, all while slaying in an Alyce Paris gown. The performance received more than 59,000 views a few hours after it went up. This is Reinhart’s eighth cover with the group and the starlet says she’s always wanted to cover the “divine tune” on her Instagram.

    Postmodern Jukebox is a rotating music group created by musician Scott Bradlee. The group covers classic hits from various genres, and their YouTube page has over 2 million subscribers.


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    NFL fans who subscribe to Dish Network just lost the ability to watch as much football as they might want.

    That’s because the satellite TV company dropped the NFL Network at 7pm ET on Thursday, and the NFL RedZone—which allows fans to watch any Sunday afternoon game they want on a TV, tablet, or phone—also will be discontinued. The network, though, told the Daily Dot late Thursday night that it isn't necessarily closed to the NFL for good.

    In a statement released Thursday night, the NFL noted this is the first time in the NFL Network’s 13-year history that a service provider has not continued to offer the network on its roster of channels.

    “NFL content has never been more popular across the media landscape,” the NFL wrote in its statement. “According to the Nielsen Company, 199 million people tuned into the 2015 NFL regular season representing 78 percent of all television homes and 67 percent of potential viewers in the U.S. NFL games accounted for the top 25 and 46 of the 50 most-watched TV shows among all programming in 2015."

    “Our contract with NFL Network has expired," a Dish Network spokesman told the Daily Dot in an email. "We remain open to a fair offer that allows us to carry this content at an appropriate value to our customers.” 

    The NFL also has set up a website iwantnflnetwork.com in which the league suggests that those NFL fans who subscribe to Dish find another provider that carries the NFL Network and RedZone, including Xfinity, Verizon, Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, and DirecTV.

    “The good news,” the NFL wrote, “is there are plenty of choices.”

    As Awful Announcing points out, the carriage fee for the NFL Network is $1.40 per subscriber, which might be a price Dish Network believes is too high—especially during the offseason.

    The NFL, meanwhile, continues to try to find new ways to reach an audience. Last season, the league struck a deal with Yahoo to livestream the Week 7 Bills-Jaguars game, and Twitter will livestream 10 Thursday night games during the 2016 season.

    H/TSports Business Journal 


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    Steph Curry had an especially bad Game 6 on Thursday during the NBA Finals. It ended in an ejection, a move that led his wife Ayesha Curry, a chef and actor, to accuse the NBA of rigging the game.

    The Cleveland Cavaliersdominated the Golden State Warriors 115-101 to force a Game 7 after being down in the series 3-1. It’s a feat that the Warriors pulled off just a couple weeks ago, but LeBron James has been a force of nature as the Cavaliers have won two straight. Steph, however, struggled throughout the game. After a fourth-quarter foul, he tossed his mouth guard in frustration and it led to his ejection. He later said he didn’t mean to throw the mouth guard at the fan.

    It was after Steph’s ejection that Ayesha took to Twitter to vent her frustration, and in a now-deleted tweet that got more than 81,000 retweets before disappearing, she claimed the game was rigged for money or ratings.

    The idea that the NBA is rigged is far from a new idea. The conspiracy theories have persisted for years, and certain occurrences, such as former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo congratulating the Philadelphia 76ers for receiving the No. 1 overall pick hours in advance, do little to squelch those theories. But because the latest accusations came from Ayesha Curry, who is closely linked to the NBA and the wife of the league’s MVP, some theorists felt vindicated. 

    But mostly basketball fans proceeded to poke fun at the tweet.

    Rigged or not, some people had called Cleveland's landslide victory after Steph messed up his pregame routine.

    Ayesha apologized for the hasty tweet and said that she tweeted it “in the heat of the moment.” She also said that she was upset after police had tried to arrest her father, who was in attendance for the game.

    Game 7 is Sunday, and it’s probably going to be a wild one—but we wouldn’t be surprised if even more conspiracies come out of it. 



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    The new drama series from Rooster Teeth makes it hard to sleep.

    In Day 5, sleep is not, as Nas once said, the cousin of death. It is death. In this alternate reality, a man named Jake (Jesse Boyd) stumbles out of his house and into the Texas sun, high on meth, only to find he’s survived a mysterious mass event that causes anyone who falls asleep to die. He finds allies in a young boy named Sam (Walker Satterwhite), a doctor named Ally (Stephanie Drapeau), and a pilot named Ellis (Davi Jay). Together, they try to stay awake as exhaustion and hallucinations creep in. 

    Written and directed by Josh Flanagan, Day 5 might draw comparisons to The Walking Dead—minus any walking dead—but Flanagan draws comparisons to Nightmare on Elm Street as well. (Listen to our On the Dot podcast interview with Flanagan below.) 

    During a panel at the ATX Television Festival last weekend, Rooster Teeth co-founder Burnie Burns pointed out that Day 5's backdrop is just an “empty world,” and that's easier (and cheaper) than making a world where zombies are roaming. 

    The series is a slight pivot for Rooster Teeth, which previously saw success with the crowdfunded sci-fi feature film Lazer Team, 14-season action series Red vs. Blue, and animated series RWBY. This month, it debuted another animated comedy series, Camp Camp. In September, it’s rolling out Crunch Time, a half-hour sitcom starring Samm Levine (Freaks and Geeks), Nick Rutherford (sketch group Good Neighbor), and Vine artist Avery Monsen. The premise: Some idiots have created a machine that alters dreams—the flipside of Day 5

    During the panel, Rooster Teeth co-founder Matt Hullum said they're working to create a "next-generation TV platform” with their shows, and they've been lucky enough to keep a fanbase engaged over the last 14 years through community-building. 

    Burns started working in the dot-com era, and when he debuted Rooster Teeth in 2002, he says he felt a little late to the game, in terms of how video content was being viewed. 

    “But we were in the warm-up stages,” he says as we sit in an office of Rooster Teeth’s Austin, Texas, studio after the panel. “Not even in the first inning.”

    “We’ve always done well with serialized, longform narratives,” adds Hullum. “You look at Red vs. Blue, it’s been running for 14 years now, and it’s basically one storyline that’s continued the entire time. And we had a lot of advice and opinions from people in our middle years saying, you really can’t make serialized content online, people only want to watch short-form stuff and they don’t want to think about it.”

    Burns interjects: “It has to be like Seinfeld.”

    “And we never felt that way,” Hullum says. “What you see now with binge-watching with Netflix and other platforms like theirs and like ours is that serialized content is more important now than it ever has been.”

    During the panel's Q&A session, a woman pointed out that all the participants were white men—something that's not unique to Rooster Teeth. While the company has many female employees and shows with female fanbases (RWBY), it would be refreshing to see more original series created or directed by women. 

    Hullum says their fans often urge them to take bigger risks. "You’ve got to rise above the noise and have a consistent signal,” he explains. Over the past decade, Rooster Teeth listened to fans and has been rewarded, most notably with the success of the 2014 crowdfunding campaign for Lazer Team, which raised more than $2 million and became the most successful original film fundraiser in Indiegogo history. Last month, they launched a Cards Against Humanity-esque game on Kickstarter that was funded in two minutes. 

    “I think Rooster Teeth as an entity… when audiences can choose anything, they tend to gravitate toward things they understand, and that’s the same way they make choices in the theater," says Burns. "Rooster Teeth is in a really unique position where we can put out original ideas and people will trust us as a brand." 

    And that's what they're hoping with Day 5, a project they’d been wanting to attempt for a while: a weekly "prestige drama" on a web budget. 

    “If you’re in an environment where you can watch anything, you can’t watch everything,” Burns says. “So what you watch becomes more important.”

    Here’s an exclusive clip from the first episode of Day 5, which debuts June 19 on Rooster Teeth, as well as its YouTube and Facebook pages. Subsequent episodes will be available only on Rooster Teeth. 


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    The Seth MeyersDonald Trump feud of 2016 is one of the more sillier spats to come out of late-night (and has origins dating back to 2011), but Meyers managed to raise the stakes even higher for the candidate who’s obsessed with his own image in his latest retort.

    It all started earlier this week when Trump banned the Washington Post after he disapproved of its coverage, which he called “phony and dishonest.” That prompted Meyers to ban Trump from appearing on Late Night until he reinstated the Washington Post’s press credentials. Trump, who has since tweeted a Washington Post story he deemed “accurate,” responded by taking a dig at Meyers’s ratings, which are actually pretty decent; he consistently tops James Corden in the same time slot and has beaten Stephen Colbert in the key 18-49 demographic on occasion.

    “He has begged me to do the show for the last two years. I have told him emphatically ‘no,’” Trump said. “I only like doing shows with good ratings, which as everybody knows, I only make better (by a lot).”

    After briefly reconsidering, Meyers reaffirmed that Trump was still banned but he came with a counter offer. He’s heard the conspiracy theories that Trump doesn’t want to actually be president—he just wanted the publicity that came along with it—and offers Trump a way out: End your campaign by the Republican National Convention and you’ll get an NBC show where you’ll get to play the president. It allows people to see what Trump would actually do without any real-world consequences. (Of course, NBC is not OK with this very fake offer.)

    Even if it does have to be called Chicago President, it might be tempting.


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    Christina Aguilera released a new song called "Change" on Thursday dedicated to the victims of the Orlando shooting.

    The song is available for purchase on iTunes, and all proceeds will be donated to the National Compassion Fund benefiting the victims and families of the tragedy. 

    "Change" features Xtina's iconic, belting choruses and powerful lyrics that pay tribute to the 49 who were gunned down by American Orlando Mateen in gay nightclub Pulse on Sunday.

    Aguilera posted the new song to her website, along with a personal message:

    The horrific tragedy that occurred in Orlando continues to weigh heavily on my mind. I am sending so much love and so many prayers to the victims and their families. Like so many, I want to help be part of the change this world needs to make it a beautiful inclusive place where humanity can love each other freely and passionately.  

    We live in a time of diversity, in a time of endless possibilities, in a time where expression of oneself is something to be celebrated.  And I am left wondering how people filled with so much love could be taken by so much hate. 

    Though there is such heavy sadness I believe that there is much more love in the world than we know.  We need to learn to love again, we need to learn that one person does make a difference; we need to keep love in our hearts. As Nelson Mandela once said, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
     
    We all have the choice to spread love, encourage individuality and make a difference to others – we are all in this together, as one, united in love. 
    Sending all my love, thoughts and prayers,
     
    xo Xtina

    The song was co-written by Fancy Hagood, also known as Who Is Fancy, and produced by Flo Reutter.


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    High-profile K-pop star Park Yoochun is in major trouble after four separate accusations of sexual assault.

    Park, 30, was first targeted on June 13 in a lawsuit filed by the boyfriend of 24-year-old adult entertainment employee Ms. Lee, who claimed the star raped her in a bathroom at the club where she worked in Seoul, South Korea, according to Korean news outlet JTBC.  

    Lee told Gangnam police that she had turned down advances from Park on the evening of June 4 before the assault took place. She reported the assault to authorities on June 10.

    Two days after the news, Park's label C-JeS released an official statement about the lawsuit, asking news outlets to focus on official police reports rather than rumor. 

    On June 14 Ms. Lee chose to drop the charges against Park. Her boyfriend made a vague statement to Korean website Sports Donga, saying an accident had happened when Ms. Lee was drunk. “[I] didn’t want outsiders to know when I was filing the charges, but as the incident got reported, the situation got of out hand. She is under a state of shock, and too large of a damage was incurred by the other side," he said.

    It seemed possible it could be a blackmail case until a second sex worker came forward. The woman, who remains publicly anonymous, claimed that Park assaulted her in a bathroom as well in December, leading authorities to launch a full investigation into Park's activities. C-JeS released a second announcement shortly after the second assault claim to announce it intended to take legal action for libel.

    "If Yoochun is found guilty of committing the crimes, he will retire from the entertainment industry," the statement read.

    In the last 24 hours, two more women employed at sex clubs have come forward to claim that Park sexually assaulted them. C-JeS made a formal announcement June 17 that it will file claims of blackmail and false accusations against Ms. Lee and the second accuser, according to Korean news outlet OBS News.

    C-JeS also announced that it intended to cooperate with authorities to prove Park's innocence and "rehabilitate his image."

    Most fansites have rallied around Park's innocence, although Korean-run DC JYJ Gallery has announced it will no longer support him. Producer Tyrone "Niddy" Buckner, who worked with Park in the past, posted a message of support on his Instagram for the idol.

    Park has been a fixture in K-pop since 2003, most notably as a member of enormously popular South Korean boy band DBSK (or TVXQ in China). Park made history alongside fellow members Kim Junsu and Kim Jaejoong when they sued parent company S.M. Entertainment in 2009, claiming that their 13-year contracts were excessive and that they were denied rights to the music they had written. The three formed a new band called JYJ in 2010. 

    In addition to his activities with JYJ, Park is also an award-winning actor known for his roles in Rooftop Prince and Sungkyunkwan Scandal.


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    Orange Is the New Black has become a slowly molding piece of bread. It’s unpleasant to chew and swallow. And what’s the point?

    Once upon a time, we were hooked on the super binge-worthy Netflix show, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman about her year in a women’s prison. Season 4 lands in our queue today, and who knew a show about an upstate New York women's prison would hook Americans? 

    The prison dramedy setup created a fun formula. Everything has to take place either in the prison, is part of an attempt to get out of prison, or exists in a flashback of the past. Any possible stories about the future can be only fantasies—here the women are cut off from the outside “real” world. 

    It’s been a perfect structure for creating conflicts, because the most interesting things happen between diverse women who would not normally mix. Hence, viewers are thrust into a world full of candid though at times surface-level dialogues about race and class, as well as unforeseen friendships, surprise romances, and prison-specific hierarchical conflicts.

    That used to be enough.

    In season 4, Piper (Taylor Schilling) is meaner and more of a badass at the prison because of her “prison fame,” panty-laundering business, and the fact that she’s been burned by friends and lovers alike. She becomes a lone wolf. Alex (Lauren Prepon), whom we last saw in a harrowing cliffhanger, gets into other types of trouble. The guards and new warden Joe Caputo (Nick Sandow) deal with ramifications of the new corporate prison system. And there are of course some key lines about systemic racism from quite a few of the characters. There’s more narrative backstory for other peripheral characters, but there are so many people that it’s hard to keep track of everyone, let alone care. In terms of narrative structure, it feels like a lot of the dramatic conflicts have already been resolved. So, what else is there to do at Litchfield?

    A celebrity named Judy King (Blair Brown), a curious combo of Martha Stewart and Paula Deen, rolls into Litchfield. We get more backstories, and there are new romances in the prison. A Bill Cosby one-liner even finds its way into the pop culture-obsessed dialogue. But what’s keeping us hooked that hasn’t already been resolved? If Orange Is the New Black is to continue its must-stream vitality, it needs to make us care again. We’ve become the Litchfield prisoners, complacent with the system, robotically binging until it’s over—or hoping for some drama that will also shift the show’s trajectory.

    In season 3, the romance died down between Piper and Alex. Piper became very involved in her prison-specific business. That’s when audiences began to drown in origin stories, because the writer’s room couldn’t count as much on that high-stakes romance. At the end of season 3, we saw a dramatic finale with an attempt at breaking out but not really—the women escape through a hole in the fence, and merely go for a swim. 

    Season 2 ended in a similar way, with Miss Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat), a cancer sufferer, driving away in a stolen prison van, hitting and killing the manipulative Yvonne “Vee” Parker (Lorraine Toussaint) on the way. We are somehow satisfied by these end-of-season breakouts; wanting the prisoners to have some sort of future in the real world. But we also accept that if they do they will no longer be a part of the show. This is where the possibilities inherent in this type of prison narrative start to feel more limiting. People get out or stay in; there is no in-between.

    This limited structure can be linked to the prison film genre, as described by David Wilson and Sean O’Sullivan in their book Images of Incarceration: Representations of Prison in Film and Television Drama. They note that movies about prison “encourage us to identify with the prisoners and in our hearts we want them to win. But with our head, when they lose, we perhaps accept that this is the way it must be.”

    And so it is with OITNB. Except that in this show, we end up identifying with practically every character —prisoner or guard— and also accept that winning doesn’t necessarily mean getting out of prison or beating the system. Winning could be overcoming a drug addiction, which happened with Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne). It could be getting proper mental healthcare, which is what we hope for Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren. Either way, winning takes place within the context of the prison.

    More contrived is the queer romantic intrigue in this show, which seems to be aligned within strict film tropes like Catholic girls’ boarding schools. Think 1931's Girls in Uniform (1931). In it, a young woman named Manuela is sent to a strict all-girls boarding school, and falls in love with her teacher. We see the dynamics and consequences of queer love in an all-women environment, and the ways it is reprimanded, punished, and seen as immoral. These types of dynamics transfer even to the present-day OITNB. The lesbian sex may be more porn-like and less punishable for being queer in and of itself, but it’s still punishable because, behind bars, prisoners shouldn’t be touching.

    Look, the show has done a lot for rising stars. Uzo Aduba (Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren) won an Emmy for her performance. Actors like Samira Wiley (Poussey), Danielle Brooks (Taystee), and Adrienne C. Moore (“Black Cindy”) bring vital person-of-color narratives into the mainstream. There is a believable and beautiful trans narrative in Laverne Cox, the very smart and complex character of Galina "Red" Reznikov (Kate Mulgrew), and serious butch bad-assery with Boo (Lea DeLaria). But despite all of the great things that have come out of OITNB, the plots have gotten weirdly repetitive, character reveals less engaging, and romantic intrigue gets blasé. Season 4 fails because it is less about the show’s intrinsically interesting characters and their situations, and viewers are left with the glaring limitations of setting the series in prison.


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    If there’s one thing fans of Billy Eichner’s characters on Difficult People and Parks and Recreation have learned about him, it’s that Eichner has no problem calling bullshit and telling it like it is. 

    On Friday the Billy on the Street personality dragged his latest set of victims on Twitter, accusing Capital One and Ross Mathews (aka Ross the Intern) for stealing his intellectual property in a video advertisement featuring the television personality.

    Eichner, who is known for his erratic man-on-the-street interviews on his Funny or Die television show, began his complaint by quoting a tweet by Capital One with an attached video. 
    The video, which appears to be part of an advertising campaign promoting Capital One’s Venture and Quicksilver credit cards, shows Mathews testing a pair of English blokes on credit card-related trivia. 

    “Yet another Billy on the Street ripoff,” Eichner wrote when quoting the tweet. “I usually ignore but this one is SHAMELESS and PATHETIC. (And not funny).”

    From comparing Capital One’s video to just a few of Eichner’s Billy on the Street sketches, it’s understandable why Eichner is pissed. The video appears to imitate Eichner’s witty commentary and fast-paced interview questions in a game-show format, with Mathews shooting off inquiries about credit card rewards and playfully insulting the contestants when they answer incorrectly.

    Take a look at this similar campaign video featuring Mathews for reference:

    Mathews replied quickly to the accusations on Twitter, stating that his time in the entertainment industry was built on these man-on-the-street interviews.

    And Mathews does have a point. From his intern fame at The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to his numerous television hosting gigs, Mathews’ interviews during his 15 years in the industry—compared to Eichner's 11 (according to a mention of him in the New York Times)—consist of smart jokes and commentary not much different from Eichner's shtick.  


    Not to be out-burned, Eichner replied telling Mathews that Capital One reached out to his people about the campaign,. 

    As the pair continued to sling tweets back and forth, even Watch What Happens: Live host Andy Cohen commented on Eichner’s accusation with a pitiful, “Oh honey no.” 

    While it appeared the drama dust was settling on Eichner's side, Mathews returned hours later, rebutting Eichner's final comment with a backhanded compliment/negging/self-deprecating combo. Yeah, we're not quite sure either.

    If this Twitter "not a feud" feud is indicative of anything, it's that Mathews and Eichner are more similar in comedic stylings and slinging insults than they are different. 

    Capital One’s advertising media contact did not respond to the Daily Dot for comment on Eichner’s accusations.


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    Warren Friss has seen great Super Bowl games from the stands. He’s seen inspiring World Series victories while cheering from the seats. He’s attended countless games in his life, and quite a few of them have been fantastic events to watch—well worth whatever he spent on his ticket.

    And then there are games like the Mets-Nationals contest a few weeks ago when New York star Matt Harvey was scheduled to face Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, one of the best pitchers in the game. It was a matchup of two excellent pitchers, and the game should have been a grand slam. Instead, the Nationals scored nine runs in the first three innings, and the game basically was over one-third of the way through the contest.

    Friss and his buddies had spent $400 on tickets, and they had to fight oodles of traffic on their way into the game. They got to their seats in the bottom of the first inning. A few minutes later, the game was no longer in doubt.

    “We saw about 20 minutes of a game,” Friss tells the Daily Dot. “It was like, ‘What happened here? What did we pay for?’ We walked out of the stadium, and they say, ‘Thanks for coming, drive home safely, we’ll see you tomorrow.’ But the fan gets nothing.”

    So, Friss has decided to do something about it. On Friday, Friss launched GameHedge.com, a secondary-market ticket site that will give you back half your money if the game you attend ends up sucking. It’s an idea he’s thought about for the past couple years—he said he was inspired by a Mets-Yankees game from a few years ago that got out of hand midway through the contest, and afterward, he realized he only saw what amounted to half of a game—and for the past year, he’s been serious about getting this website off the ground.

    Friss has a love of sports—he’s an attorney, but he also spent many years working for the Topps baseball card company—and he has a love of sports fans. Probably because that’s exactly what he is. He doesn’t like feeling that he’s been ripped off because a game was bad.

    “People are disappointed when they leave a bad game. They just haven’t thought that maybe they should get [compensated] for their trouble,” he said. “I’m a big Mets fan, and the thought of paying $500 for a ticket and seeing a bad game, that went into my thinking.”

    Buying tickets to a game—or, really, to any kind of entertainment event—has always been buyer beware, of course. Spend $1,500 for a ticket to the big heavyweight title fight, and it ends in a first-round knockout? Too bad. Drop a bunch of money on a Patriots game and Tom Brady is suspended? Tough luck. Spend $1,000 for aHamilton ticket, and Lin-Manuel Miranda catches a cold and misses the show? Nobody will give you a refund.

    Friss knows all this. He just doesn’t care. 

    He figures the margins for a secondary ticket site are loose enough that he can afford to give back a decent amount of 50 percent reimbursements and still turn a tidy profit. You won’t find what GameHedge terms the "Good Game Guarantee" anywhere else.

    “We feel like our product is different from all the others,” Friss said. “And the market is growing dramatically. More and more people are buying tickets on the secondary market. There’s really not a good reason to buy a ticket a month in advance. The ticket-buying experience online is incredibly easy. When I was a kid, you had to call or write in. Now, you buy a ticket on GameHedge in a minute. You can buy them on your way to the game.”

    For a fan to get a refund, the home team in the baseball game has to lose by five or more runs. If it’s an NBA or NFL game, the final deficit has to be larger than 15 points (Friss isn’t sure yet about hockey). If that’s the case, GameHedge sends you an email with a link that allows you to be reimbursed for 50 percent of the cost of your ticket. It goes directly back on your credit card.

    And, presumably, you walk away a happy customer.

    Unless, perhaps, you’re a Phillies fan.

    But will this venture be profitable for GameHedge? As CNBC notes, the site has to have the ability to get enough second-hand tickets, and it’s unclear whether it can make itself a known entity in a relatively crowded marketplace.

    Either way, Friss has confidence in the future of his site.

    “After going to several bad games, it struck me,” Friss said. “How you feel about the experience is so much based on how your team does, but you pay the same thing no matter what. If you went to a five-star restaurant and something went wrong—the food was cold, maybe—the restaurant would do something to make it right. With sports, that doesn’t happen. It felt like somebody had to do something to stand behind the fans.”

    H/T USA Today


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    Ever since Donald Trump descended his Trump Tower escalator last year like some type of fallen Cheeto-dusted messiah, the world has been trying to make sense of his candidacy.

    Comedian Michael Ian Black may have found the best way to address the question of Trump as both a politician and a person. He's penned the children's book A Child's First Book of Trump, which essentially sinks to the grammatical level of the presumptive GOP nominee. Black discussed his latest book with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show Friday night.

     Last month, it was revealed that the Donald's language erred on the simplistic, almost to a childlike degree. Trump is a man who contains multitudes, however. He's short on yuge words, even shorter on hand size, and yet dominated the Republican field. Black's children's book operates almost like a Trump ethnography but with really adorable illustrations from acclaimed New Yorker cartoonist Marc Rosenthal.

    This is the second kid's book to make an appearance over the course of the election season. Jimmy Kimmel Live put together a Dr. Seuss-esque children's book called Winners Aren't Losers in Dec.

    Filled with topical political humor and Trump's trademark shit-Trump-steak-eating grin, the book was a little more of a partisan look at the Donald. Sadly, it's unavailable to the masses. A Child's First Book of Trump, however, is real as can be and available for purchase.


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    Throughout the month of June, the LGBT community will be celebrating the the 57th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the wave of protests that kicked off the modern movement for queer equality. That means that LGBT folks across the country will be gathering from their local Pride parade.

    But if you’re more of a “Netflix and chill” person than someone who likes to dance on floats, or if you’re in desperate need of something to distract or numb you from the events in Orlando, you’re in luck. The streaming platform has a robust selection of queer films—from a documentary about trans women in Puerto Rico to a Romanian thriller about lesbian nuns.

    Here are 13 of the best options for LGBT viewers currently streaming on the site. (And if you’re here for But I’m a Cheerleader, bad news: It’s only available through the mail. Maybe it’s time to renew that DVD subscription after all?)

    1) Beginners

    The second directorial feature from Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) was a personal one. After Mills’ mother passed away, his elderly father came out of the closet. In the film, the patriarch, Hal, is played by Christopher Plummer (Venus), while the ever-ageless Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting) is the befuddled son. Mills’ film has a bad habit of giving into indie quirk, such as in a romantic subplot involving Inglorious Basterds’ Melanie Laurent (the director is the partner of Miranda July, after all). But there’s a reason Plummer won a long-overdue Oscar in 2012: Plummer gives a performance of boundless warmth and humanity. To see the octogenarian Hal fall for a younger man (E.R.’s Goran Visnjic) is a reminder of how far we’ve come in the era of marriage equality. Love didn’t just win; it made Hal possible.

    2) Beyond the Hills

    Romania is having a moment in the international film scene. When Cristian Mungiu's tour-de-force abortion thriller 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days won the Palme D’Or in 2007, it announced the country’s New Wave as a force to be reckoned with. These are gritty, realist films that examine life in Eastern Europe under a time of extreme repression. 4 Months examines the absurdity of Nicolae Ceaușescu's communist regime in the 1980s, while Beyond the Hills explores faith-based homophobia.

    Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur—who shared the Best Actress prize at Cannes—play two Orthodox nuns who become romantically involved. Alina (Flutur) wants to flee to Germany, where the women can be together, while Voichita (Stratan) believes they can be saved by their faith. The methodical Beyond the Silence isn’t the taut nail-biter for which Mungiu is known, but his ballad of silence is equally gripping.

    3) Bridegroom

    In the tradition of LGBT-themed documentaries like Freeheld, the Bridegroom is one hell of a tearjerker. Directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the film made headlines in 2013 when it was presented at the Tribeca Film Festival by former President Bill Clinton, who highlighted the award-winning doc’s incendiary subject matter. Mild spoiler alerts for those touchy about that sort of thing: In 2011, Shane Bitney Crone’s partner, Tom, was unexpectedly killed after falling off the couple’s roof. Because the two men were not legally wed, Crone wasn’t able to receive benefits—or even attend his partner’s funeral. Given the progress made since the film’s release, Bridegroom might feel like a time capsule, but it’s a powerfully important one, as well as a reminder of the right to basic dignity for which the LGBT movement continues to fight.

    4) The Kids Are All Right

    I discussed The Kids Are All Right in my Netflix rom-com roundup, so to avoid plagiarizing myself, I refer you to my earlier comments on the film, which are still accurate:

    The Kids Are All Right is anything but the movie you will expect it to be going in. When the buzzy Sundance hit debuted in theaters, I expected a light, frothy family comedy that just happened to feature a lesbian couple—Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening). What I got instead was an acrid dramedy about infidelity. Jules (Moore) sleeps with the sperm donor that fathered the pair’s children, played Josh Hutcherson and Mia Wasikowska. (Given that said donor is the ever-dreamy Mark Ruffalo, you can’t totally blame her.)

    “I have friends who hated, hated, hated this movie, but years later, I still can’t get certain scenes out of my mind. Lisa Cholodenko’s script completely nails the neurotic tension inherent in long-term relationships, especially in a restaurant scene where unsaid feelings boil over during a conversation about (what else?) organic farming. ‘If I hear one person say they love heirloom tomatoes, I’m going to f**king kill myself,’ Nic announces. Agreed, Nic. Agreed.

    5) I Love You Phillip Morris

    I Love You Phillip Morris should have been a full-fledged comeback for Jim Carrey. The one-time comedy superstar has fallen on hard times the past decade (Mr. Popper’s Penguins, anyone?), but directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra (Crazy, Stupid Love) put his trademark manic energy to expert use in their criminally underrated 2009 dark comedy. It was a box-office bomb, which gives you a chance to rediscover what audiences missed. Philip Morris is one of those stories so delightfully absurd it must be true: A con-man (Carrey) repeatedly escapes prison to be with his partner (Ewan McGregor, again). Gay-themed movies for straight audiences often toy around the actual fact of queer sexuality, but one of the many refreshing things about Philip Morris is that the film lets its lovers be extremely intimate with each other. This GIF of McGregor saying “Enough romance, let’s fuck” is the only GIF you’ll ever need.

    6) Mala Mala

    Queer viewers likely know April Carrión as a contestant on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race (that was the year Bianca Del Rio won). Carrión, however, is also the star of Mala Mala, the must-see 2015 documentary about Puerto Rico’s queer, transgender, and drag communities. Directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, the film is clearly inspired by Paris Is Burning, the influential (and controversial) documentary about 1980s ball culture in New York City. The connection is even in the title: In Puerto Rico, “mala” is akin to “fierce,” a word that was popularized by Jennie Livingston’s film. (Pepper Labeija famously proclaims herself “the fiercest mother of them all.”) The colorful Mala Mala is both a document of a community in transition and a real-life Almodovar film, a celebratory look at a vibrant culture come powerfully to life.

    7) Pariah

    It’s a little sad that Pariah is best known for a drunken shout out: When accepting the Golden Globe for The Iron Lady in 2012, Meryl Streep slurred the name of Adepero Oduye, the film’s lead. But inebriated or not, Meryl knows what’s up. Directed by Dee Rees, making her debut, Pariah offers a fresh take on the coming-out story. Giving a star-is-born performance, Oduye plays Alike, a black teenager experiencing her queer coming of age on the streets of Brooklyn, New York. As she soon discovers, figuring out who you are isn’t without difficulty: The girl she likes (Aasha Davis) views their relationship as nothing more than “youthful experimentation.” Meanwhile, her parents force her to choose between her sexuality and her family. For Rees, the little-seen film was the beginning of a promising career: She directed HBO’s Emmy-winning Bessie in 2015 and will be helming the network’s Stonewall drama, When We Rise.

    8) A Single Man

    Fashion designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut takes a completely different tone than Christopher Isherwood’s landmark 1964 novella. Isherwood’s writing is impassioned and angry, enraged at the state of gay life in pre-Stonewall America, whereas Ford’s film is mournful and melancholic. Often referred to as a feature-length perfume commercial, the rapturously beautiful A Single Man unfolds like a undulating plume of cigarette smoke. But there’s a lot underneath Ford’s impossibly perfect surfaces: Colin Firth (in an Oscar-nominated role) plays George Falconer, a college professor who finds himself adrift after the recent death of his partner (Matthew Goode). During his period of mourning, George becomes drawn to a student (a breakout Nicholas Hoult). The film retains Isherwood’s somber ending, but rather than downbeat, Ford’s eye for poetry imbues A Single Man with a tentative hope.

    9) Stranger by the Lake

    Nobody makes psychological thrillers like the French. From Clouzot’s classic Les Diaboliques and Ozu’s Swimming Pool to Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One (which has more twists than a 1960s sock hop), L’Hexagone has long staked its claim as an international capital of suspense. One of the best in recent memory is Stranger by the Lake, an erotic stunner that doubles as an allegory for the AIDS crisis and a queer homage to Alfred Hitchcock. In Alain Guiraudie’s 2013 Cannes winner, sex is death. At a gay cruising spot nestled at the edge of a picturesque lake, Franck (Pierre Deladonchamps) meets the sexy Michel (Christophe Paou), with whom he has an instant connection. There’s just one problem: Michel is a murderer. Franck spies his the object of his affection drowning his current lover in the lake—but continues to get closer to him. In the movies, there’s nothing deadlier than l’amour.

    10) Tangerine

    Tangerine was a groundbreaking moment in LGBT cinema. Sean Baker’s micro-budgeted indie (which was filmed on his iPhone) was the first film to ever launch an Oscar campaign for a trans actor. Following the historic Emmy nomination for Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), distributor Magnolia Pictures pushed Mya Taylor and Kitana “Kiki” Rodriguez for consideration at the 2016 Academy Awards. The campaign wasn’t successful (although Taylor earned an Indie Spirit award for her performance), but it showed just how far trans representation has come. Tangerine is both thrilling to watch and deeply humanizing in its portrait of a day in the life of two transgender sex workers in Los Angeles. If there’s any justice in the world, it will only be the start of many more great things to come from its talented pair of actresses. Hollywood desperately needs them.

    See also: Eric Schaeffer’s Boy Meets Girl, starring breakout trans actress Michelle Hendley

    11) Tig

    2014 was a breakout year for Tig Notaro. During a performance at New York City's Town Hall, the lesbian comic came out as a breast cancer survivor. In a career-making set, Notaro performed shirtless, baring her double mastectomy for the world to see. After the act generated massive buzz (and applause from those who lauded her fearlessness), she would do it again—this time on her HBO standup special, Boyish Girl Interrupted. The acclaimed Netflix documentary Tig examines the comedian’s life during her treatment and in recovery—as she and her partner attempt to have their first child. Kristina Goolsby and Ashley York’s film is both as candid and disarmingly intimate as you would expect a film about Notago to be. The documentary is a testament to human resilience—about finding the courage to go on after enormous hardship.

    12) Weekend

    Andrew Haigh has been one to watch since Greek Pete, which perfected the director’s seemingly improvisational style. The film, about a London rent boy, is so lived-in that it feels like a documentary. Haigh, best known in the states as the creator of HBO’s short-lived gay drama Looking, would perfect his vision with Weekend. The naturalistic 2011 indie owes a great deal to Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, dialogue-heavy films about brief encounters between star-crossed lovers. Whereas Jesse and Celine share a connection on a train ride heading to Vienna, Glen (Chris New) meets Russell (Tom Cullen), a lifeguard, shortly before leaving for art school. The couple’s lost weekend may be their last together, but their fleeting romance feels both intense and real. The power of Haigh’s films is that they encourage both reflection and recognition, documenting universal experiences that feel painfully familiar.

    See also: Andrew Haigh’s masterful 45 Years, starring Charlotte Rampling.

    13) We Were Here

    There’s been an embarrassment of great documentaries on the '80s AIDS crisis in recent years, the most well-known being David French’s great How to Survive a Plague. The year before Plague was released, David Weissman and Bill Weber directed We Were Here, an equally important look at queer life during an era where being gay was looked at as a death sentence. What’s refreshing about We Were Here is that shows a community coming together for hope and healing. Weissman and Weber interview psychologist Ed Wolf, activist Paul Boneberg, and others who worked to fight the disease, which had infected 50 percent of gay men by the mid-'80s, including Guy Clark, a dancer who lived in San Francisco’s famed Castro district during the epidemic. He brought flowers to the funerals of those who passed away from HIV. The uplifting We Were Here is a stirring reminder of the power and beauty of solidarity.



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    After nearly 13 years since filing, the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action lawsuit has finally been settled and payouts are imminent. The suit alleges that Ticketmaster misrepresented its fees, turning the price of mailing tickets out to customers into a net profit enterprise.

    That level of overcharging can only mean a whole lot of payouts for millions of customers, to the tune of $400 million total. On Saturday, vouchers and discounts became formally available online to around 50 million people.

    If you've purchased tickets to an event between Oct. 21, 1999 and Feb. 27, 2013, weren't refunded an order processing fee, and live in the United States, (all 50 of 'em) then you're probably getting a discount code and free tickets.

    The company went live with its vouchers on Saturday and a list of approved events to use free tickets on has yet to be made available to the public.

    In addition to paying out to the common man, Ticketmaster's stuck with attorney fees totaling around $15 million. They're also legally obligated to donate $3 million to the University of California, Irvine School of Law, which will help the college establish a consumer law clinic.


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    On Saturday, the New York Senate voted to legalize fantasy sports by a vote of 45-17. The passage comes just three months after prominent companies like DraftKings and FanDuel were forced to offer non-paying fantasy sports games in order to comply with state laws.

    The bill is now headed to Gov. Cuomo's desk, where it is one step away from being signed into law.

    According to CNBC, the reason the Empire State has done such an about face when it comes to fantasy sports may have something to do with the money it generates.

    If passed, New York could see an estimated $5.5 million yearly revenue increase due to an annual 15 percent state tax spanning any fantasy sport played in state with entrance fees, followed by another half percent tax increase per year that peaks at a $50,000 maximum amount.

    It's unclear if and when Cuomo will sign the bill, which faced opposition primarily from the casino industry. State Assembly Gaming Committee Chairman J. Gary Pretlow estimates that over three and a half million New Yorkers participate in fantasy sports, indicating that the legislation will be heavily favored by the public.

    H/T CNBC


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    One week after Christina Grimmie was fatally shot during a meet and greet in Orlando, The Voice is facing another devastating loss.

    The Voice Mexico star Jano Fuentes was reportedly shot and killed in Chicago on Saturday night. Fuentes was gunned down near his home as well as Tras Bambalinas, the performing arts school he had opened in Chicago's Brighton Park neighborhood. He was celebrating his 45th birthday that evening.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, a suspect had walked up to the car the singer was sitting in, pulled out a gun, and demanded he exit the vehicle. When Fuentes wouldn't comply, he was reportedly shot. Fuentes succumbed to his injuries at 2:07am.

    Fuentes rose to prominence after his 2011 La Voz appearance, dedicating his time to not only expressing his artistry but teaching and mentoring aspiring performers. A multi-talented creator, Fuentes had taught art at an elementary school, dance classes at Tras Bambalinas, and even staged musicals.

    As of this writing, officials are still searching for the suspect who gunned down Fuentes.

    H/T Chicago Tribune


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