FILM

All of Edgar Wright's Movies, Ranked

He's One of the Best Filmmakers Working Today, and We've Ranked All His Movies

Edgar Wright is one of the best writer-directors working today.

His skill as a writer blends with outstanding visual comedy and an aptitude for explosive action to tell stories of realistic personal growth stories that engage all the elements of over-the-top popcorn movies. All of his movies are worth seeing, but they are not all created equal. Here's the official ranking of his greatness.

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Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: Kevin Spacey's Bizarre Christmas Video

Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood doing his best impression of Kevin Spacey. If that sounds unsettling, well, it is.

Kevin Spacey

Art cannot be separated from the artist.

There's almost certainly some truth to the 30 individual sexual assault and harassment allegations levied against famed Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey in 2018. Despite the fact that the legal criminal assault charges against Spacey have all been dropped, far too many people have separately corroborated similar accounts of abuse for the charges to be a series of misunderstandings.

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CULTURE

Kevin Spacey's New Holiday Video May Have Led to One Suicide Already

One of Spacey's Accusers killed himself the day after the video was released.

On Christmas Eve, disgraced (alleged) sexual predator and former actor Kevin Spacey released a new Holiday video on his Youtube channel.

In the video, titled "KTWK" (kill them with kindness), Spacey puts on the southern lilt of House of Cards' anti-hero Frank Underwood in a supposed plea for "more good in this world." The next day, one of his accusers—Ari Behn, 47—was found dead by suicide. If Spacey had known that one of the men whom he had (allegedly) assaulted was on the brink of taking his own life, would he have thought twice about releasing that video? Would he have felt any qualms about, once again, adopting the persona of the villainous President Underwood for a sequel to last year's notorious Christmas video?


KTWK www.youtube.com


In September, the anonymous massage therapist who alleged that Spacey had forced him to grab the actor's genitals died of cancer, and resulting in charges being dropped. Spacey and his legal team had vehemently denied the accusations, and now he was off the hook. What does it say then that Spacey opens his newest video, after stabbing wildly at the fire, with the claim, "It's been a pretty good year?"

In the case of Ari Behn—the author and former member of Norway's royal family who alleged that Spacey had groped him under the table at a Nobel Prize concert in 2007—it would be irresponsible to suggest that there was anything suspicious in his Christmas Day suicide. He had spoken openly about his struggles with loneliness and alcoholism—and his fear that he wouldn't live to see his three daughters grow up—but it seems like foolish optimism to imagine that he hadn't seen Spacey's newest video. And if his isolation and alcoholism were at all tied to the trauma of his encounter with Spacey, how painful would it be to see the man responsible putting on the act of a remorseless villain? How upsetting and surreal to hear the man who (allegedly) hurt you and so many others—yet continues to walk free—imploring his viewer with an ironic smile not to openly attack their enemies, but instead to "kill them with kindness."

ari behn

The video closes on that ominous line, with a stock iMovie musical sting called "Suspense Accent 07," leaving no doubt as to the intended effect. But what, other than cruelty, could be the motivation?

The character of Frank Underwood on House of Cards—before Spacey was ousted, and Robin Wright took over as the show's lead—was a man who used his cunning, his power, and his connections to avoid facing consequences for numerous crimes. More than once he killed off someone who had become a liability, and he made their deaths look like suicide. Why would a man who maintains his innocence—in the face of more than 30 accusations of sexual assault and misconduct—continue to align himself with this character whose arc is defined by evading justice? At worst, Spacey is flaunting his untouchable status. At best…what? If we assume that even one of his accusers is telling the truth, then releasing a video in which he pretends to be an impervious villain—and alludes to killing his enemies—is a heartless and horrifying act.

In February of this year Spacey's older brother, Randy Fowler, publicly called on the actor to accept responsibility for his (alleged) crimes and "take his punishment." He also expressed concern that Spacey would not be able to handle his (alleged) predation being exposed, saying, "I'm worried about him committing suicide. But then you have to think, 'Nah he's too narcissistic, he probably wouldn't do that.'" If Fowler is right about Spacey's state of mind, then a true narcissist might follow the logic of the patron saint of narcissism—Ayn Rand—who famously said before her death, "I will not die, it's the world that will end." From that perspective, even 30 suicides would pale in comparison to the tragedy of erasing the narcissist himself. From that perspective, the more Spacey can do to taunt his (alleged) victims—to make them feel helpless and hopeless—without directly implicating himself, the better.


ayn rand


There are probably more charitable interpretations, but if Spacey leaves this video up after the tragic suicide of Ari Behn, he doesn't deserve even that small charity. He should, of course, own up to any and all of his crimes—if he is guilty, plead guilty and face the consequences of his actions. But if he is too in denial, or too much of a coward to do that, the least he can do is stop rubbing his freedom in the faces of his (alleged) victims and their families—in the faces of every survivor of sexual assault who would rather not be reminded that sexual predators so rarely face justice.

If he is going to keep espousing his innocence in the courtroom, the least he could do is stop playing a villain in these bizarre holiday videos. And if he won't delete this video, then he isn't playing a villain at all. People's lives are on the line.

CULTURE

Harvey Weinstein Thinks He's a Feminist Icon

In a recent interview with The New York Post, Weinstein made it clear that he still thinks he can paper over his crimes.

Page Six

Imagine spending decades putting in hard work to cover your ass and make yourself look innocent, only for your horrific crimes to be exposed and all that hard work to be erased.

In his recent interview with The New York Post, Harvey Weinstein makes it clear that this wasn't the way things worked in Hollywood when he was coming up. "I made more movies directed by women and about women than any filmmaker, and I'm talking about 30 years ago. I'm not talking about now when it's vogue. I did it first! I pioneered it!" Back then it was understood that every powerful producer was wielding his position to inflict himself sexually on every young starlet with the bad luck to find herself alone in a room with him. The "good ones" were the men who at least gave those women good roles after traumatizing them, and maybe produced some nice uplifting stories that sent good political messages. Real heroes...

weinstein shirt Not his real shirt... probably

Harvey Weinstein just wants to get back to the good old days and remind everyone how great his public persona was while he was (allegedly) terrorizing dozens of women in secret. Yes, he (allegedly) employed an assistant whose job was to lure women in with a false sense of security before leaving them alone with him. And yes, he also (allegedly) spent millions of dollars killing negative news stories and pre-empting legal cases that could arise from his (allegedly) assaulting and raping women on a regular basis. But what about the money he put into making Transamerica and the $10 million role he got for Gwyneth Paltrow years after (allegedly) attempting to force himself on her in a hotel room when she was only 22? What about that?

"If you remember who I was then, you might want to question some of this."

If you can just find it in your heart to ignore the overwhelming weight of his frequent and horrifying (alleged) predation of women whose livelihoods were subject to his whims, he actually did a lot of great things for women in Hollywood. If you can just tap into a deep well of forgiveness in order to focus on all the public work he wanted people to notice instead of listening to the dozens of women whom he (allegedly x 80) assaulted behind closed doors, that would be really great for him. And honestly, if we're all just willing to look at things through that lens, Harvey Weinstein would deserve some recognition.

"I made a success out of myself. I had no money, and I built quite an empire with Miramax and decided to give back,"


weinstein oscar Page Six

Unfortunately for Harvey, the professional virtue signaling that earned his films awards and made him the fortune he (allegedly) used to fund his toxic and evil (alleged) sexual crimes, wouldn't really amount to much next to even one credible accusation of sexual assault, let alone dozens. So while he laments feeling "like the forgotten man," that reputation is obviously far better than he deserves. People have forgotten all the nice things he did to get positive attention because we all prefer not to think about him at all. Because thinking about him requires thinking about the societal problems that allow a powerful man like him to maintain a glossy image while developing an elaborate apparatus to hide his (alleged) sexual crimes from the world.

Bill Cosby was "America's dad" for decades while drugging and assaulting young women. Jeffrey Epstein was once a celebrated "money manager," who may have built his entire career on sex trafficking. And Kevin Spacey was beloved by Hollywood primarily for his convincing portrayal of villains who could go undetected—in The Usual Suspects, Se7en, House of Cards—and is now conspicuously avoiding criminal charges for his many (alleged) assaults. Thinking about these men requires us to think about how power operates in our world. And while we, as a society, have made more of an effort in recent years to face those issues, our default is still to ignore them. It is all too tempting to look the other way.

spacey creepy Don't look away

So when Harvey Weinstein and Prince Andrew give interviews in which they try to paint themselves as heroes—a man "too honorable" for his own good, or an icon of feminist progress—they are giving us a gift. There is a dark comedy to watching these evil men clumsily articulate the personas they want to project—all while those shabby disguises rot and fall away. It makes it possible to look at them a little longer.

One line in the new interview tells the whole sad story: "I want this city to recognize who I was instead of what I've become." Who you were, Harvey, was a man living with many dark and horrible secrets, and what you've become is a man exposed. If it were only a work of fiction—a sick joke, rather than a sickening reality—it would honestly be funnier than any movie Harvey Weinstein ever touched.


prince andrew So honorable...


In the interview, Weinstein also wanted to highlight his very real medical issues and took the opportunity to make it clear that he is not playing up his ailments for sympathy. Good for you, Harvey. No one cares.

With the recent rejection of a $25 million settlement—which would have avoided any admission of guilt from Weinstein and prohibited other accusers from pursuing further legal action—we can probably expect Weinstein to continue whining and pleading and making his flimsy, pathetic case for himself. If you have it in you, try to use the comic absurdity of it all to help you stomach the nauseating reality of our society's many ills. If you can, try not to look away.

As long as there have been celebrities, there have been celebrity apologies.

Whether its sexual assault or racial slurs, famous people seem to struggle to avoid the occasional, unforgivable, character-exposing, mistake. In fact, so many celebrities have done horrible things in the public eye, that celebrity apologies have become an art form of their own. Most recently, Camila Cabello apologized for racist posts from 2012 found on her Tumblr account.

Camila responded on Twitter, claiming to be sorry from the bottom of her heart.

Whether its a screenshot of an iPhone note posted to Instagram or crocodile tears on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, public figures have a staggering ability to come up with new and cringe-worthy ways to apologize for their actions. In celebration of famous people's staggering inability to express genuine remorse, we've compiled a list of our favorite (worst) celebrity apologies of all time.


Louis C.K.

In 2017, Louis C.K. was exposed for, well, exposing himself. The comedian and actor reportedly exposed his genitals to and masturbated in front of multiple women, who came forward in a New York Times op-ed. He penned a response to the accusations, also published in the New York Times, in which he expressed regret for his actions, but also used the word "dick" an uncomfortable amount, saying, "These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn't a question." Most disturbing about this apology is that he at no time acknowledges the strange and perverted nature of wanting multiple female acquaintances and fans to look at his genitals. He also repeatedly brings up how "widely admired" he is. Just...what the hell.

Logan Paul

So Sorry. www.youtube.com

Logan Paul, a popular Youtube personality with a middle school haircut, was known for his absurd pranks and constant vlogging. Now, he's known for filming a dead body in the "Suicide Forest" in Japan. The video, which he posted to his Youtube channel, showed a corpse hanging from a tree, and Paul laughing as he filmed. Obviously, this mind-boggling insensitivity earned the vlogger some pretty substantial backlash. He filmed a video to apologize, which earned over 53 million views, and while the apology itself seemed earnest enough, Paul had the audacity to monetize the video, literally profiting off the hurt he caused.

Gene Simmons

The rock-n-roll icon gifted the world such classics as "Love Gun" and "I Was Made For Lovin' You," forever cementing his place as one of the top rockers of all time. But he also cemented his place in this list by calling Prince's apparent suicide "pathetic." "I think Prince was heads, hands and feet about all the rest of them," Simmons continued. "I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don't kid yourself, that's what he did. Slowly, I'll grant you … but that's what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death." The apology was almost worse than the offense, as he merely said he "didn't express himself well."

Winona Ryder

In 2001, Winona Ryder was infamously arrested for shoplifting more than $5500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills store. The privilege and arrogance of this crime is one thing (she owned a 3 million dollar mansion at the time) a whole other thing was Winona's excuse for the crime: she was doing research for an upcoming role. While the actress did eventually apologize after being convicted of the crime, she never seemed to express real remorse.

Kevin Spacey

Let Me Be Frank www.youtube.com

While there are some pretty reprehensible attempts at repentance on this list, Kevin Spacey blows them all out of the water. Rumors of the actors taste for young men and boys had swirled around Hollywood for years before he was finally accused by no less than 15 men and underaged boys of sexual misconduct. In response, he posted the above disturbing video, in which he embodied his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, and seemed to speak both as the character and himself: "I told you my deepest, darkest secrets, I showed you exactly what people are capable of. I shocked you with my honesty, but mostly I challenged you and made you think. And you trusted me, even though you knew you shouldn't." The bizarre and chilling video has over 10 million views on Youtube, and makes Kevin Spacey our uncontested winner. What. The. F*ck.


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.


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Culture News

Woody Allen Sues After Amazon Drops Him (Finally)

Great. What took so long for Amazon to cut the cord?

Woody Allen is being treated unfairly, according to a $68 million lawsuit he filed against Amazon Studios on Thursday.

The 83-year-old has claimed that a 25-year old "baseless allegation" of sexual abuse has driven Amazon to break a four-movie deal with him. His most recent film, A Rainy Day in New York, was dropped from Amazon after sitting completed and ready for release for over six months. The studio also terminated their deal for three more films with Allen's production company, Gravier Productions. While Allen laments the loss of work, we have to wonder: What took Amazon so long to drop him?

The lawsuit alleges that in 2014 Amazon sought to "capitalize on Mr. Allen's international stature, talent, and track record...promising to finance and distribute his true films and to be his 'home' for the rest of his career." The minimum payment guaranteed to Gravier Productions totaled between $68 and $73 million. However, in June 2018, "Amazon backed out of the deals, purporting to terminate them without any legal basis for doing so, while knowing that its actions would cause substantial damage to Mr. Allen, Gravier, investors, and the artists and crew involved in making the films."

With a reported net worth between $65 and $80 million, Woody Allen is taking more damage to his reputation than his finances. According to the complaint, Amazon dismissed the director due to "supervening events, including renewed allegations ... [Allen's] own controversial comments, and the increasing refusal of top talent to work with or be associated with him in any way."

Vanity Fair

Long before the #MeToo movement, Allen was notoriously accused of molesting his adopted step daughter, Dylan, while he was still with his ex-partner, Mia Farrow. Dylan O'Sullivan Farrow, now 33 years old, has given multiple interviews alleging that Allen abused her at age 7. The accusations are particularly disturbing in light of Allen's controversial 20-year marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, whom Allen helped raise.

Reportedly, Amazon executives held a meeting with Allen's representatives to discuss concerns about being associated with an accused sex abuser after Harvey Weinstein had been ousted from Hollywood. While both sides agreed to postpone the release of A Rainy Day in New York in that 2017 meeting, Thursday's lawsuits accuse the company of using the controversy as an excuse: "Amazon has tried to excuse its action by referencing a 25-year old, baseless allegation against Mr. Allen, but that allegation was already well known to Amazon (and the public) before Amazon entered into four separate deals with Mr. Allen—and, in any event it does not provide a basis for Amazon to terminate the contract. There simply was no legitimate ground for Amazon to renege on its promises."

People

The dispute highlights the question of whether entertainment companies have a legal right to terminate contracts with artists due to allegations of sexual abuse—and if so, why isn't that right exercised sooner? Kevin Spacey wasn't dismissed from major studios until 30 years' worth of sexual misconduct accusations finally culminated in criminal charges. Bryan Singer is just now being suspended from projects after 20 years of sexual assault claims. The moral question of separating a problematic artist from his art has long been a burden to consumers, but, for the most part, high-powered industries only act when profit loss outweighs the reputations of its artists.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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