SXSW ’12 | Jonas Akerlund Talks His Busy 2011, Making Bizarro New Feature ‘Small Apartments’ Along with 34 Commercials and 5 Music Videos

Swedish director Jonas Akerlund, best known for his innovative videos for the likes of Prodigy (“Smack My Bitch Up”), Lady Gaga (“Telephone” and “Paparazzi“) and Madonna (“Ray of Light”) came to SXSW for the world premiere his third feature “Small Apartments.”   In “Small Apartments,” Los Angeles is a world full of bold colors and neons.  And on its sexy outskirts lives Franklin Franklin (“Little Britain” actor Matt Lucas, best known in the states as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in Tim Burton‘s “Alice in Wonderland“), a decidedly unsexy recluse who pines for his hospitalized brother (James Marsden) while he stays inside in his tightie wighties, blowing on his horn (just like the Ricola commercials) dreaming of a life in Sweden.  Mostly due to his penchant for daily horn practice and his pervish spying, Franklin is despised by his neighbors (played by James Caan, Johnny Knoxville,


‘Take This Waltz,’ ‘2 Days in New York,’ ‘Chicken With Plums,’ & ‘Lola Versus’ Added To 2012 Tribeca Film Festival Line-Up

A new big batch of films have been added to the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival line-up, and while there aren’t a lot of big premieres in the bunch, there’s a lot to catch up with for those of you (and us) who didn’t attend Tiff 2011, Sundance 2012, etc. etc.

Highlights for us include Sarah Polley‘s sophomore directorial effort “Take This Waltz,” starring Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams, Julie Delpy‘s “2 Days In New York,” starring herself and Chris Rock in a sequel to “2 Days in Paris,” Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud‘s “Chicken With Plums,” their directorial follow-up to the very excellent 2007 animated film “Persepolis,”  Lynn Shelton‘s “Your Sister’s Sister” starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt and Mark Duplass, and “Lola Versus,” Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister Jones‘ follow-up to the celebrated 2009 micro-budgeted indie “Breaking Upwards” starring Lister Jones herself alongside Greta Gerwig, Joel Kinnaman (AMC’s “The Killing,” the new “RoboCop“), Bill Pullman, »

– The Playlist

Obama Adviser David Axelrod Drops Plan To Appear With Bill Maher: Report

There’s no explanation for why President Obama’s political strategist decided not to join the comedian on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher. A campaign spokesman simply confirmed that Axelrod is “not scheduled to go on at this time,” despite promotions saying he would appear, website Politico reports. But we can make a pretty good guess as to what’s going on: Maher has become a lightening rod for critics on the right who argue that there’s a double standard in the recent barrage of attacks on Rush Limbaugh — who has been losing advertisers since he went on-air to call an advocate of employer health plan payments for contraceptives a “slut” and a “prostitute.” (He later apologized for using the words.) Maher put himself into the political fray recently when he donated $1M to Pac Priorities USA, a super Pac that supports the president. Last week Fox »

– DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor

Jon Stewart to Fox News: ‘Shut the F— Up’ (Video)

Rush Limbaugh‘s defenders in the Sandra Fluke scandal point to offensive comments made by Bill Maher in a finger-pointing war of words — and that set off one of Jon Stewart‘s best rants. On Tuesday’s “Daily Show,” Stewart showed a montage of Fox News commentators accusing Maher of hiding behind comedy when calling Sarah Palin vulgar names. Stewart whipped out a clip of Limbaugh doing the same thing, defending his Fluke “slut” speech as “provocative” and “illustrating absurdity.” “Don’t pretend that by people saying they’re comedians, they’re hiding … they’re not,” he »


– Kimberly Potts

HBO Film About Sarah Palin A Ratings Hit

The HBO film Game Change, which focuses on Sarah Palin’s role as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, chalked up the best ratings for the pay-tv channel for an original movie since 2004. Its initial airing on Saturday drew 2.1 million viewers. Three repeats added 1.3 million to the number. The Andrew Breitbart-founded conservative blog was unimpressed, calling the results a “ratings bust” and noting that Palin’s own series about her home state, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, debuted on TLC in 2010 with five million viewers. (The eight episodes averaged 3.5 million.) “Now, TLC isn’t a pay channel like HBO, but the tally still undermines the narrative that audiences were clamoring to see a Palin takedown,” the website said. The film received mostly positive reviews from newspaper TV critics, but was damned by Palin herself as inaccurate. However, in an interview with MSNBC this week, chief McCain strategist Steve Schmidt said, »

Michael Ian Black Defends Louis C.K. From Rush Limbaugh Comparison After Comedian Drops From Rtcc Host Job

According to Michael Ian Black, Louis C.K. may have once made offensive comments about Sarah Palin, but he’s no Rush Limbaugh. C.K. on Friday stepped down from a scheduled keynote speech at the annual Radio and Television Congressional Correspondents dinner; the day before, Fox News host Greta Van Susteren wrote on her blog that she wouldn’t attend the event if he hosted, citing a drunken Twitter rant the comedian went on in September 2010 in which he made offensive, crude remarks about Palin. Black says comparing C.K. to Limbaugh, who has been embroiled in controversy over sexist.

Quintet Of Actresses Cast In TV Pilots

Alexa Davalos (Defiance) is set for the female lead in Frank Darabont’s TNT drama pilot L.A. Noir,  a fast-paced crime drama set in Los Angeles during the 1940s and ’50s that tells the true story of a decades-long conflict between the Lapd, under the determined leadership of Police Chief William Parker, and ruthless criminal elements led by mobster Mickey Cohen. Davalos, repped by UTA and Anonymous, will play Jasmine, a beauty with a complicated past. Andrea Savage has been cast in in Fox’s single-camera comedy pilot Rebounding. The project, written/executive produced by Joe Port and Joe Wiseman, executive produced by Steve Levitan and directed by Jason Winer, is an uplifting comedy about Danny (Will Forte), a man recovering from the death of his fiancé with the help of the idiots on his pickup basketball team. Savage, repped by UTA and Mosaic, will play Danny’s smothering sister Amanda, »