Pajiba 10 For Your Consideration: Shirley Manson, the Grunge Gillian Anderson

Look, I’m new to the Pajiba scene. Only started writing here a few months ago. Somehow I completely missed any and all iterations of the Pajiba 10 until it started simmering in the Pajiba Slack chats. I’m not exactly on the thirsty beat, as it were. I’m more on the «let’s write criticism about criticism» beat, which, let’s be honest, is about as sexy as writing on the internet comes. So this isn’t my first rodeo, but it’s my first rodeo that isn’t about a rodeo. If that makes sense. Which it doesn’t.

All of this brings me here, because my cursory research suggests this person has never won the coveted title here at Pajiba, and even though it’s a long shot, I gotta be me and throw my hat in the ring for one Shirley Manson.

The lead singer of the seminal band Garbage, and actress in the woefully underappreciated show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, has enough innate charisma to power a city block. I’m not going to say that I was chemically altered the first time I saw the video for «I’m Only Happy When It Rains,» but I won’t say that I wasn’t, either.

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I mean, hi. You have my goddamn attention.

The first two Garbage albums are ones I continually revisit, and not just because I can stare at the pale, redheaded Scottish goddess who fronts the band. They are legitimately great records. I’d put «Vow,» «Not My Idea,» «I Think I’m Paranoid,» and «The Trick Is to Keep Breathing» against anything released in the 1990s. But it didn’t hurt that the person singing it seemed to have been beamed from another universe for the sole purpose to dominate humanity via her innate sexuality.

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She’s on tour with Blondie this summer, and at the age of 51, she’s somehow hotter than ever. She’s the grunge Gillian Anderson, which combines one of my favorite musical genres and favorite actress genres all into one. I want to meet her and would be legitimately terrified to meet her. It’s confusing, yet awesome?

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I hesitated to even throw her name into the ring, but enough of the Pajiba staff were annoyed that I suggested her first that I thought it was at least worth admitting my crush online for the world to see. She’s been in my proverbial Top 5 since I learned of the concept of said list, which was right around the release of Garbage’s debut album in 1995. That’s two solid decades in which people have come and gone but Manson has still remained. It’s perpetually odd to me that she never turned into the singular rock star of her generation. Given the fact that she apparently doesn’t age and might actually be a part of Skynet’s plot to overthrow humanity, I shouldn’t be calling attention to her agelessness. But since my keystrokes might already be recorded, I should soldier on through regardless. Especially when she espouses an ethos to which most of us can and should relate.

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All hail Queen Shirley.

Pajiba

The Shot That Made Me Hate (And Then Love) Justin Lin

When I was in college, there were so few Asian directors working in Hollywood that when one of them made a hot new movie, it was important to see it, to show support. And in 2002, thanks in part to a controversial screening at Sundance, the hot new movie was Better Luck Tomorrow, and the hot new Asian director was Justin Lin.

I went to the theater with my college roommate (and fellow Asian film student), Alan, and, for the most part, the movie was pretty good — it felt like a lot of the other movies in the late ’90s/early ’00s indie scene — skillfully made and interesting, full of thematically relevant intertitles, and careful, measured use of we-don’t-have-enough-money-for-coverage long takes.

And then, as the movie reached its climax, Justin Lin busted out this shot (it’s much longer in the actual movie, but you get the gist here):

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I remembered nothing in the movie after that scene. It was like my brain froze. Walking out of the theater, I turned to Alan and said something like:

WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT BULLSHIT THAT JERK WAS JUST SHOWING OFF WITH THAT STUPID REVOLVING SHOT NOW ALL I CAN DO IS THINK ABOUT THE CAMERAWORK IN WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE MOST DEVASTATING MOMENT OF THE FILM!

You could say I was mad at Justin Lin.

So mad that I held a grudge against him; you know, those really deep grudges that you can only hold against someone you’ve never met, so you can pretend it isn’t a real person on the other end. Those grudges are easy to come by today (just go on Twitter for thirty seconds), but back then, someone really had to earn it.

I held that grudge so hard that a few years later, in 2006, I refused to see The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Even though all my friends were going. Even though it was an Asian-heavy cast, and deep down, I still wanted to show support. Just not for that hack.

I held that grudge so hard that a few years after that, in 2009, I didn’t want to see Fast & Furious, for much of the same reasons, and only agreed when my old college roommate, Alan (who by this point was a film development executive) told me it was worth checking out.

Because I didn’t want to go in not knowing what happened in the third movie (and not realizing the third movie had almost nothing to do with the fourth), I borrowed a DVD of The Fast & The Furious: Tokyo Drift, and began to watch, arms folded, waiting to be disappointed.

At the start, I was too distracted by the cast (the kid from Sling Blade! The oldest son from Home Improvement! Bow Wow! The tall Korean guy from Better Luck Tomorrow!) to give the movie much of a chance.

But about halfway through, we got to the scene where the characters tell us their very important views on life. In it, Tall Korean Guy gave a nice speech about being a man and being able to judge character or something, and then Sling Blade Kid asked him why, if it wasn’t for the money, he was a drift racer.

«You really want to know?»

«Yeah.»

«Okay. Let’s go.»

OH.

Justin Lin might as well have been talking directly to me with that shot. This wasn’t just the wiser, older character telling the young upstart his very important views, this was the wiser, older filmmaker telling the young, annoying kid to pay attention. Telling me that yes, he knew he was showing off. But also, asking me to trust him. To let him show me what else he could do with the camera.

In that moment, I agreed to his terms.

And then came the Shibuya Crossing sequence:

From that point, I was mesmerized. This movie had its flaws, certainly, but despite my best efforts to hold on to my grudge, I was engaged. And that camera that I once complained about, that camera that once felt distracting, suddenly demanded my attention.

The next day, I went to see Fast & Furious in the theater. To my surprise and delight, Justin Lin’s camera was working in full force, even during intense, dramatic scenes:

Adding just the right amount of visual flair to those times when, you know, you stare at tire marks and piece together a crime scene like a goddamn psychic.

I became a fan. An advocate. And by the time Justin Lin helmed the near-perfect «Modern Warfare» episode of Community a year later, it was more than clear: Justin Lin was (and really, had always been) an action director.

The only thing missing for Justin and his smooth, sweeping camera was his opus. An action sequence truly worthy of his visual ability. And by 2011, he’d show us what he was working on:

Fast Five, and specifically that vault sequence (which, to this day, is one of those scenes I will wait for on cable if Fast Five happens to be on TV), launched Justin Lin to A-list director status, launched the Fast & Furious movies into what is now a multi-billion dollar franchise, and finally showed what he was truly capable of.


There’s a story relayed by «creativity expert» (whatever that means) Sir Ken Robinson about a young girl who was getting in trouble in school because she couldn’t sit still. Her teachers thought she had a learning disability, so her parents took the girl to a doctor. The doctor spoke to the girl, attempting to discover the root of her problem. After a while, the doctor excused himself to speak to the girl’s mother, turning on the radio before he left the room. When the doctor reached the girl’s mother, he pointed at the girl, who, now alone with the radio, was dancing. The doctor informed the mother that her child wasn’t sick; she was a dancer.

That child was Dame Gillian Lynne, who would go on to become a legendary dancer and award-winning choreographer.

When Justin Lin first arrived, I felt like he had ruined his first movie with that one spinning shot. It felt like he was showing off, undercutting the emotion of his scene for a visual trick. It felt like he wasn’t paying attention to the work he was supposed to be doing.

I thought he was a hack. But in reality, he was an action director. I thought he was a bad student. But in reality, he was a dancer. And thankfully, the right people saw him dance, and saw his potential, and gave him the opportunity to express himself in the best way he knew how.

We should all be so lucky.

Dan Hamamura is a Los Angeles-based screenwriter. Follow him on Twitter.

Pajiba

Anthropologie Is Having a Tag Sale With Up to 50% Off Apparel, Housewares, and More

Anthropologie will always be a good destination to start looking for something unique. Right now, they’re having a massive Tag Sale, which means you get up to 50% off a ton of styles without having to do a thing. Everything from dresses to shoes to home goods are marked down so there’s definitely something for…

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Jezebel

‘Stronger’ Trailer: B for the Trailer; C+ for Jake Gyllenhaal’s Boston Accent

I am a sucker for Boston accents. I don’t remember a lot of Boston accent films growing up pre-Goodwill Hunting (I’m sure they existed, but I don’t remember them), so when I moved from Arkansas to Boston, they all sounded new and exciting to me, although ironically the accents don’t exist as much in Boston as they do in Revere, Southie, Malden, Medford, etc. I thought, «These are my people!» and by that I mean, White Trash (no offense)!

So, I am almost always a sucker for films featuring Boston accents. Whatever else I might think of Matt Damon and the Afflecks, I usually love their Boston-set movies (except for Manchester by the Sea, because I’m a parent and fuck that movie). The Wahlberg/Peter Berg films? Yep, those, too. Although, Chris Evans has my all-time favorite Boston accent. That accent combined with that voice? Jesus. Blake Lively, conversely, has my least favorite.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s accent in the trailer for Stronger? I’m not feeling it. The movie — from David Gordon Green — is another Boston Marathon movie, and it looks like pretty good awards bait (Tatiana Maslany’s presence certainly helps), but Jake G’s accent? I mean, my thing is, if you’re going to do a Boston accent, go hard or go home. Don’t half ass it. Don’t give me a half an R. Either you pronounce your Rs fully or not at all!

Anyway, here’s the trailer. It’s based on a true story, and TK told me how it ends up between these two, but I’m not gonna say because I’m not an asshole.

Pajiba

Under the Trump Administration, Housing for the Poor In This Country is Terrifyingly F*cked

Sometimes it’s helpful to look at the country as a tree. Not Jefferson’s tree of liberty — I’m not ready to pour the blood of tyrants onto the ground quite yet — but rather a tree where each branch is a different ideal. Racial equality, women’s rights, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, things like that are the various branches of the tree that makes a just society. At the roots are some of the more basic issues — food, shelter, education. All of those things can sometimes feel like the roots of this great tree, and when they prosper, we prosper, and when we prosper, those branches grow more and more healthy. We often tell ourselves that with the right education, we can over time heal the damaged roots and thereby help the tree flower. Education leads to knowledge and knowledge, as they say, is power.

But I’m not here to talk about education. I’m here to talk about one of the other basics — shelter. Because one of the country’s more integral departments, one that affects millions of poor Americans, is under direct assault right now, and it’s happening in a fashion that we never saw coming. Perhaps one of the least glamorous sounding branches of the government is the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and it’s because of that lack of glamour that this is happening somewhat under the radar. Sure, you’ve read about it — Ben Carson, an incompetent moron who somehow managed to earn a medical degree, is the new HUD Secretary. It’s been a national joke for several weeks now. But it’s important to realize just how much his appointment, and the subsequent actions of Carson, Trump, and HUD, are going to affect our future.

In short, if they maintain the course they’re on? We’re fucked. I mean shockingly fucked.

In the past week, two major news items have sprung up that could take us further down the road to the aforementioned fuckage. One, Lynne Patton is expected to be named the nominee to lead the New York regional HUD office. This is important for one simple reason — she’s a woefully unqualified toady, who is being appointed solely because she’s loyal. She is possibly even less qualified than Carson, which is saying something given that Carson’s only qualifications appear to be that he’s black, grew up poor, and will lick the boots of anyone who can give him access or power. Patton is a Trump loyalist who has absolutely zero housing experience, but has the good fortune of once working for Eric Trump’s foundation, and helped plan his wedding.

Let’s go over that again: a woman with zero housing experience, who helped Trump’s son plan his fucking wedding, is potentially the nominee to run the regional HUD office for one of the largest urban areas in the country. This is akin to me being nominated to run the EPA because I donated to Greenpeace. The only thing more bananas than this would be if someone like Rick Perry were named Energy Sec — oh, fuck.

Anyway, that’s part one of this fiasco. Part two has to do with Trump’s proposed budget, which, according to The Washington Post, calls for sharp cuts to housing assistance. Here’s the money quote:

President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.

One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $ 5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

Now, that second paragraph is interesting, and once again results in one of the literal hundreds of conflicts of interest between Trump’s presidency and his business dealings. But don’t focus on it — it’s ultimately a misdirect that is going to take us away from the real issue. To be quite honest, I doubt that the fact that Trump’s building won’t suffer from these cuts even factored into the decision making process. This is a shot fired in a war that has been going on for years, only now it’s coming to fruition.

Here’s a bit of inside baseball to help us get to the heart of why this is such a massive problem:

There are two basic low-income housing programs in the United States: the Section 8 program, and the Public Housing program. There are dozens of sub-programs within those two very large umbrellas, and some states, like my own, also have their own smaller versions of each. But Section 8 and Low Income Public Housing (LIPH, to keep things shorter) are the two main ones. Section 8, also known as the Voucher program, has always been a darling of both sides of the political spectrum. Under this program, low-income families receive a subsidy that allows them to live in a regular, market-rent apartment for an income-based rent. Essentially, if you live in an apartment with a rent of $ 2000, you pay roughly 30% of your adjusted monthly income for rent, and whatever is left of that two grand is paid out by the government in subsidy. Sometimes, those apartments are designed specifically for low-income renters, but still owned privately. In fact, I work for one such development. It’s owned and managed by a private company, but serves specifically elderly and disabled persons who make less than 50% of the area median income. There’s a market rent attached to each apartment, but the residents never pay more than 30% of their income, and HUD picks up the balance. These are called «Project-Based» or «Multifamily» Section 8 developments. The other version is known as a mobile voucher, wherein you still have that voucher, but you can use it anywhere. Literally any apartment in the country (whose rent falls under a set amount based on region) becomes accessible to you — you still pay that 30%, the government still pays the rest. Chances are, if you’ve lived in low- to moderate-income apartments, you’ve likely has a neighbor who has benefited from this program.

The second, Public Housing, is a little different. This is housing that is government-owned and government-managed, usually via agencies called Housing Authorities. Every major (and most minor) city has a Housing Authority, which essentially takes HUD money and funnels it into the management of public housing. The public housing program is also what’s conventionally — and derogatorily — known as «the projects». Yeah, you’ve seen The Wire. Back in the day, they were usually high-rises, enabling us to cram a large number of very poor people into as small a space as possible. Build up, not out, was the philosophy, thus preventing poor people from taking over too much of the city’s landscape. Public housing is where the bulk of the low-income housing stigma comes from. Cities like Chicago and New York once had legendarily bad neighborhoods dotted with low-income housing developments, and they’ve always been easy political targets. People blame the projects for crime, for lack of education, for urban blight. But of course, just like shitty schools, shitty neighborhoods don’t exist in a vacuum — they happen because the money and resources to improve them do not exist. I’ve worked in low-income housing in a number of cities up and down the east coast, for going on 20 years now, and the one common thing is always money. The lack of money is why public housing suffers. And when the home you live in is shit, and the neighborhood you live in is shit, and the schools you go to are shit, guess what? You don’t have a lot of options ahead of you.

For decades now, the government has waged a mostly-silent war against low-income housing across the nation. The focus of that has always been public housing, and the Section 8 program has always been popular. It’s popular because there’s the appearance of independence — poor people are renting regular apartments! It’s also popular because it’s often the housing of choice for low-income seniors, one of the country’s more powerful voting blocks. It’s popular because it hides our poor within middle class neighborhoods, like thorns painted red. And frankly, it’s popular because it’s cheaper. Handing out slips of paper and telling you to go find an apartment is far less expensive than the brick-and-mortar funding necessary to build and manage public housing. Better to let private companies (yes, like mine) build them and pass the subsidy on to them. The thing is, though, that public housing serves a vital need. There aren’t enough companies like mine, willing to invest private dollars into low-income housing, even if it turns them a profit. There aren’t enough private landlords out there to take (or willing to take — there’s a fair amount of discrimination against voucher holders by landlords) vouchers for every low-income renter. But the government hates public housing, because it costs precious dollars that they could be spending on fucking fighter jets or bunker bombs or corporate bailouts.

So let’s bring this all back together. The GOP war on housing has been going on for decades. This time, it’s just that they’re firing higher caliber bullets. They’ve got the House, the Senate, and the presidency, so they’re coming after the programs they’ve always hated, and they’re doing it with venom. The housing programs that are under fire are going to suffer enormously, and it’s a program that is already under immense stress. Having managed public housing myself, I can tell you that it’s an often-impossible job, managing a building and the needs of your residents on the barest of funding. Managers of these buildings face terrible decisions daily — what can I fix now, what can I put off for next year in the hopes that we can afford it then and in the hopes that no one will get hurt. Cannibalizing parts out of broken appliances, faking their way through federal inspections, being forced to choose what potentially life-threatening problems we can maybe postpone fixing — these are all routine issues that happen because there’s no money. In the years before the Obama administration, the HUD budget for low-income housing was cut by 30%. That’s a staggering cut, and the idea that Trump is seriously considering cutting it further is terrifying.

Because there’s only one real goal to these cuts — to make the poor poorer. There is no other endgame. The developments will suffer, they’ll be forced to close down, driving the poor onto the streets in search of vouchers that won’t be there. The average Housing Authority waiting list right now is between three and five years. That’s three to five years before you might find safe, sustainable housing. Until then? Have fun sleeping at your friend’s house with your three kids, or in your car, or on the street. These are all stories I’ve heard. These are all people I’ve had to turn away because there just. isn’t. enough. help. And now we’re going to take even more of that help away. We’re going to overcrowd shelters, we’re going to flood cities with even more poverty. Which will affect schools (which are also probably going to lose funding). Which will drive up crime rates, drive up drug usage, drive down property values. Donald Trump once said «our inner cities are a disaster». That’s a goddamn lie. Our inner cities are places where, with the right care and money and attention, people could thrive and grow. Poor people could learn and break the cycle that’s been plaguing them for so many years. We could push money into better housing, better homes, better schools, better support systems.

But instead, we’re going to slash them to pieces. We’re going to increase drug usage so that we can increase incarceration rates. We’re going to decrease education, so we don’t know how to make the country better. This will adversely affect minorities, immigrants, poor families — all the groups that the GOP hates because they tend to vote against them. The story here isn’t Trump’s buildings or the buildings that will keep their funding — it’s the thousands of buildings and millions of people who will find themselves worse off than they’ve ever been. The story isn’t the story of Carson and Patton, two unqualified idiots suddenly charged with running a vast and vital bureaucracy — it’s the life-endangering decisions that such incompetence and cronyism will lead to. Our inner cities aren’t a disaster, but they sure as hell will be if we stay the course. We’re going to tear out the roots of the tree and watch as it falls, clucking tongues and wringing hands, blaming the poor for being poor and not pulling themselves up, while we shove our hands in our pockets when they reach out for help.

Pajiba

Prince Hot Ginge Says That None Of The Royals Want The Crown

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Since Prince Hot Ginge wants nothing to do with the crown, I should remove it from my homomade (on purpose typo) PHG Real Doll during our “dates.” You know, to make the experience oh-so-realistic.

PHG did a long interview with Newsweek and he mostly talked about his charity stuff, but he also talked about how losing his mom at a young age really fucked with him, and he gave his thoughts about the future of the monarchy. He didn’t talk about Meghan Markle, but a “source” did and said that things are still new between them and if they get engaged, it won’t happen before the end of the year.

PHG says that his mom wanted him and his brother to live as normal of a life as possible, so he does his own grocery shopping and buys his own meat (wink win), but he also knows that he’s a prince and believes that his country and beyond still needs the magic of the monarchy.

PHG says that during his mom’s funeral on September 6, 1997, he had to walk behind her coffin in front of a crowd of thousands and as millions watched at home. That moment left deep scars on his soul and it had a lot to do with why he spent some of his twenties boozing it up and acting a wreck. PHG’s main goal is no longer trying to snort more streams of vodka than his douche bros. His main focus is now charity work and bringing the monarchy into the 21st century. PHG isn’t about to talk his way out a job, so he says that Britain needs the monarchy. They’re not wearing glimmering jewels and living in palaces for themselves. They’re doing it for the people. Yes, you should cry for them, because none of them really want to sit on the throne.

“The monarchy is a force for good, and we want to carry on the positive atmosphere that the queen has achieved for over 60 years, but we won’t be trying to fill her boots. We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people…. Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”

Oh, PHG, let me ease your pain of being famous and privileged. Give away your fortune, abdicate your place in line for the crown and run off to rural New Zealand with me where we’ll raise goats far away from Buckingham Palace. I won’t ever call you “king.” “Ginger daddy,” yes, but “king,” no.

But seriously, PHG needs to speak for himself! We all know that there’s one British royal who is a regular Simba and just can’t wait to be king. Do I even need to say who that is?

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So THE QUEEN, Prince Charles and Prince William need to step down and let the TRUE King of England happily rule with an animal crackers crumbs-covered fist!

And here’s THE QUEEN at Royal Ascot today. It was Ladies Day, so I also threw in pictures of ladies showing off the hats that will definitely end up in the gutter after they get ten kinds of plastered.

Pics: Wenn.com, Royal Mail

Dlisted

Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde’s Daughter Only Seems to Get Cuter With Time

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis welcomed their second child, daughter Daisy Josephine Sudeikis, in October 2016, and we’ve already gotten more than a few adorable peeks at their little bundle of joy. After announcing her arrival with a precious Instagram snap of Daisy peacefully sleeping on a giant sheep pillow, Olivia then shared a black and white shot of her and Daisy cuddling on the couch. The actress is clearly enjoying being a mother of two, so hopefully we’ll get to see more sweet family moments with Jason and their 3-year-old son, Otis.

POPSUGAR Celebrity

You’ll Cringe Like Crazy Watching Ellen Call Out an Audience Member For Stealing

Getting to be in the audience for Ellen DeGeneres‘s show is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity worth commemorating with a souvenir, but as one audience member learned, you probably shouldn’t steal said souvenir. Before a recent taping, Ellen set up a swag table and told guests they could take one item. Repeat: ONE item. Most of the audience members followed that direction — except Nancy. Nancy didn’t realize there were hidden cameras filming the group, and she decided to make multiple trips to the swag table to grab a few items. Watch the hilarious, cringe-worthy video to see how the audience reacts when Ellen calls her out.

POPSUGAR Celebrity

Jay Williams Says Phil Jackson Was Falling Asleep During a Top-15 Pick’s Workout

It’s official: BC HQ is all-in on Phil Jackson destroying the New York Knicks. Sure it sucks for Knicks fans who desperately want to keep Kristaps Porzingis, but for everyone else who doesn’t give a damn, old-man Phil and his triangle offense are an absolute gift.

Jay Williams added on to the amazing Zen Master content today when he went on “Outside the Lines” and said that Phil couldn’t even stay awake for a top-15 draft pick’s workout:

Do we care about this unverified claim? Hell no. All we know is that Stephen A. Smith is somewhere fuming ready to release yet another fire take.

Our shortlist of prospects that Phil potentially dozed on:

Dennis Smith Jr.
Zach Collins (probably)
Frank Ntilikina
Malik Monk
Lauri Markkanen


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

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