FILM

"Matilda" and the Brain-Melting Trend of Movie-Musical-Movies

It's the second announcement this month of a movie based on a musical based on a movie.

Sony and Netflix announced on Tuesday that they will be partnering to produce a new Matilda movie based on the Broadway musical.

If you're feeling confused right now—thinking that you've already seen a Matilda movie based on the Roald Dahl novel, breathe easily with the knowledge that you are not hallucinating a memory of Danny DeVito with bleached blonde hair. It happened. Just as Nelson Mandela survived prison and you grew up reading the Berenstain Bears, you really did watch Miss Trunchbull swing a little girl around by her pigtails in 1996. And this new movie is not attempting to replace the special joy of seeing an eight-year-old Mara Wilson gain magic telekinetic powers and use them to assault authority figures. Nothing can take that away from you, and this new movie isn't even an attempt. It's not a reboot or an update. No, this movie is an adaptation of the Broadway musical that was adapted from the 1996 movie that was based on the 1988 novel.

Danny DeVito

If that sounds like an absurd telephone game of mounting degrees of removal and adaptation, you are clearly just out of touch. This is the latest trend in filmmaking. Last week it was announced that the Broadway musical version of Mean Girls, based on the 2004 movie Mean Girls, is also being adapted into a musical movie that will presumably be called Mean Girls.

When the 2005 film The Producers pioneered the daring approach of making a musical movie based on a live musical that was itself based on a 1967 Mel Brooks film about making a musical, the resounding response was that they had gone too far even for a franchise that was so intentionally self-referential and absurd. The movie bombed despite its all-star cast. But clearly they were just ahead of their time. MTV made a hesitant foray into the same arena when they aired a recording of the Legally Blonde musical based on the 2001 movie, but that was just bringing the existing stage version to a wider audience.

Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane in The Producers

But at long last it appears that the era of movie-musical-movies has finally arrived. In other words, the end times are upon us. If you've managed to read this entire article without getting a nose bleed, you are the chosen one. Let the chorus of angels sing your praises while performing elaborately choreographed dance routines.

Culture Feature

Why Does Chrissy Teigen Keep Dragging John Legend?

We're not saying Chrissy Teigen bullies John Legend... But if she does, he probably likes it.

John Legend has received a distinction no man has ever earned.

Sure, he's achieved a full EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), he stars in an Emmy Award-winning TV show, and he's only the fourth person of color to be named People's "Sexiest Man Alive," but his most impressive credential by far is having Chrissy Teigen as his wife.

"My secret is out," she tweeted in 2019. "I have fulfilled my dream of having boned @people's sexiest man alive!! an honor!!!!"

Legend is arguably a trailblazer in this new avenue; as a baby-faced 40-year-old, his new "sexy" honor tips the balance in the eternal battle between being "cute" or "hot" but never a hybrid of both. Legend commented right away on the vacuous nature of the "Sexiest Man" title, "Everyone's going to be picking me apart to see if I'm sexy enough to hold this title," he told People. I'm [also] following Idris Elba, which is not fair and is not nice to me!"

No, it's not nice. But with Chrissy Teigen as his wife, Legend knows better than to expect niceties; because it's clear that no one, absolutely no one, is better at dragging John Legend than his wife.

Twitter

John Legend: The Icon, the Meme, the Aardvark

The Internet's love of the "John Legend looks like Arthur" meme doesn't compare to Chrissy Teigen's. She's returned the public's attention to it when it simply wasn't being appreciated enough, especially in reference to their daughter. Once upon a time, it seems Legend could appreciate the joke, even dressing up as the children's cartoon for a commercial once. But marriage is long and arduous, and not even eternal vows can't prepare you for having the Queen of Twitter as a spouse. Really, John Legend's exasperation in his wife's Instagram comments is the delicious coda to every little dig.


Chrissy Teigen: John Legend's Worst Fear

Shortly after being crowned the most symmetrical face in mainstream media, Legend guest-hosted the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Inevitably, during one of the interludes, Chrissy Teigen popped out of the fake piece of furniture that's always lying around Ellen's set so nearly every celebrity guest can be caught on camera having a moment of pure, animalistic fear. This is John Legend's fear face:

Chrissy Teigen Scares Guest Host John Legend www.youtube.com


Even scared, he looks so carefree. How? I don't trust it.



After bantering about the uncomfortable logistics of sitting in a box so you can yell "boo" at your husband, whom you probably live with and could do a better job of scaring the next time he's emerging from the shower, Teigen seemed to believe that her husband genuinely had no idea she was in the studio. Teigen asked him, "You didn't hear me banging around the box?" "No, I did not," Legend answered. Teigen lamented to the audience, "This helps because he's very unaware of anything around him. Like we get in fights on the airplane and stuff. He'll hit people with his bag. And I'm like apologize!"

Chrissy Teigen Isn't a Huge John Legend Fan

What makes that Ellen scare even better is that Chrissy Teigen seems to alternate between flippantly sharing intimate details about her and John's love life and also not knowing pretty basic, very public information about her own husband. Why? Because she's busy. No, she never saw Selma, despite her husband taking home his first Oscar for writing the moving score. Why? Because she didn't feel like it, mind your business!

Chrissy Teigen Doesn't Know Jack About John Legend www.youtube.com


Chrissy Teigen: Not Afraid to Challenge Idris Elba

In order to clearly communicate his deep feelings of inferiority compared to Idris Elba, John Legend took to Twitter to compare a picture of himself at 17 to the aesthetic pleasure that is the one and only Idrissa Akuna Elba, OBE. To her credit, Teigen wrote an encouraging response that magnanimously pointed to the fact that we all have old photos of ourselves in which we look like a half-transformed Animorph beast...except Idris Elba. "Yeah but let's see an @idriselba pic from 1995 (prob still very hot)," she wrote.

And indeed, Elba accepted her challenge and posted a photo of himself as a smoking hot twenty-something year old in 1995, which at a certain point is honestly tantamount to an attack on society, because who needs to look like this?




Yes, Chrissy Teigen tried, but must you, Idris Elba?! One day I'm going to start a movement to dismantle beauty biases in Hollywood and all of American culture just so I can shame people for being so hot. Oh, what? That's already a toxic take that's historically targeted women who vote and write and have senses of humor while daring to look better than an unwashed bridge troll? Much like former Sports Illustrated model-turned-author-turned-beloved-TV-personality Chrissy Teigen? who has the honor of being the target of Trump's Twitter rampages??? Nevermind, then. Clearly, Chrissy Teigen bullies John Legend, the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2019, as an ironic commentary on beauty biases and shame that pervades American media. I get it now.

News

Beyoncé and Jay-Z Fans Mugged After Global Citizen Festival

Lack of security and a "total collapse" of plans sent attendees from Beyoncé to being robbed.

Global Citizen

Reports of mugging at gunpoint and lapses in security at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg underscore the very issues of scarcity and social instability that Global Citizens wants to address.

More than 75,000 people attended Sunday's concert, with millions of viewers in over 180 countries watching the broadcasted performances. The event, held at the FNB Stadium outside the township of Soweto, was headlined by major draws such as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Usher, Pharrell, and Ed Sheeran, with attendees including Oprah Winfrey, Dave Chappelle, and Tyler Perry. Soweta-born Trevor Noah hosted the evening, commending the crowd's enthusiasm, the nobility of the cause, and the impressive size of donations.

Today Show

The festival, themed as "Mandela 100," raised $7.2 billion over the weekend, spotlighting South Africa in a celebration of what would have been Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday. Pledges far surpassed the goal of $1 billion, with sizable commitments from the likes of World Bank, Cisco, Vodacom, and the government of South Africa. The funds are to be dedicated to Global Citizen Projects' goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030. According to the organization's website, "Global Citizens learn about the systemic causes of extreme poverty, take action on those issues, and earn rewards for their actions — as part of a global community committed to lasting change." Among the "rewards" mentioned are free tickets to attend the annual festival, which accounted for most of the thousands in attendance.

Yet reported flaws in the festival's security and notable absences of South African politicians at such a politically-charged (and highly publicized) fundraiser highlight crucial pitfalls to addressing poverty with crowd-drawing celebrities and big money companies.

On Wednesday Police Minister Bheki Cele acknowledged that 50 case reports were filed and 15 arrests were made after "unforeseen circumstances" resulted in a lack of police after the festival. A "total collapse" of traffic management scattered festival-goers across the streets of Johannesburg in search of Ubers and taxis. Dozens of people who flocked to a garage near the stadium reported being mugged at gun- and knife-point. Many shared their fear and outrage on Twitter.

One user posted in real time as their group was ostensibly waiting for a ride at the garage and fearing for their safety. The user referred to "tsotsis," roughly South African slang for "thugs," mugging and taunting the attendees.

With 58 heads of state attending the event, the police reportedly congregated close to the stadium but left the area immediately after the concert ended, which is against standard protocol. While Johannesburg is not as notorious for crime as it was during the shameful era of apartheid, law and order are still struggling to find ground in a country where 14 million South Africans live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.25 a day. As of September 2018, nearly one-third of South Africans are unemployed, with low economic growth having economists concerned for the country's future.

At one point in the evening, Trevor Noah commented, "Today, we demand that our world leaders do more, and we must do it now. Because if we fail to act, all the signs indicate that extreme poverty will not be solved by 2030 and, in many places, it will get worse."

CCTV footage of disturbances at Sasol garage, JohannesburgThe South African

Throughout the night, spokespeople for corporations graced the stage to announce their donations. President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the crowd, "Today, by your mere presence here, you have declared that poverty is a stain on the conscience of humanity, and we must all work together to end poverty." However, critics have noted that no other representatives of the South African government were in attendance to reaffirm commitments to reform the country's internal instability.

Nonetheless, by the end of the festival, major conglomerates and allied African governments pledged billions of dollars to reform South Africa's education system, fund land reform and women-owned businesses, and combat gender-based violence and HIV rates. But as the South African newspaper Daily Maverick points out:

"Even if all the money goes to the causes for which it is intended…it is still a stark indictment of South African governance that the fulfilling of its citizens' most basic needs should be effectively outsourced to foreign governments and transnational mega-corporations—the latter not known for condition-free benevolence—24 years after democracy."


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


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Selfies are taking over……for better or for worse.

You just can’t get away from them—they’re all over Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat—any of the numerous social media services out there that help people share their lives on a daily basis—like white on rice.

Selfies range from the drunken and regrettable, to the infrequent and interesting, to the outright narcissistic and only too damn frequent (Kim Kardashian anyone?)—there’s a whole spectrum of selfie takers out there.

Initially, it was mainly just the younger generation that took it a little too far with inappropriate selfies—anyone remember Breanna Mitchell, who was all smiles, posing in front of the death chamber at Auschwitz, of all places?

But let’s be real, these days adults are just as guilty. Seeing Barack Obama and David Cameron smiling together for a selfie at Nelson Mandela’s memorial should settle any doubts on that matter.

With millions of people taking and posting selfies every day, it can be tough to ensure your self indulgent snap stands out from the crowd—but still, some people seem to truly excel in that area.

Just take a look at Popdust’s pick of the craziest, funniest, and completely inappropriate selfies in the gallery below.

Madonna has caused outrage on Instagram by posting doctored photos of Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Bob Marley to promote her new album.

The Photoshopped images show the iconic figures with her album artwork transposed onto their faces, seemingly comparing herself to them.

"This #rebelheart fought for freedom!" Madonna captioned the Instagram of Mandela. "This #rebelheart had a dream!" she put on MLK's, and "This #rebelheart sang about ONE LOVE!" on Bob Marley's.

Nelson Mandela

This latest stunt of Madonna's is so breathtakingly arrogant, so unbelievably stupid, that you have to wonder just what on earth she was thinking of by defacing the images of some of the most selfless and heroic people in modern history, people who she could not hope to compare herself to.

Martin Luther King Jr.

The star soon realized people thought she was full of shit when her Instagram was overrun with disgusted and dismayed former fans.

"To lessen Mandela's and Dr. King's achievements as far as making their faces involuntarily a part of a marketing campaign for some irrelevant pop music is just a huge perception disorder," wrote user beate_abbey. "I'm already unnerved by all this pictures with strings in people's faces. This despair is such a cringe factor. It's a pity."

It looks like Madonna was planning to cause outrage, posting a picture the day before with the caption "Dear haters, I have so much more for you to be mad at ... be patient!"

Bob Marley

 

Is there anything more sad than a middle-aged woman talking about "haters"?

Get it together Madge, you're better than this!

 

Today is Mandela Day—a time for the whole world to remember and honor one of the greatest, most inspirational and awe inspiring men ever to walk this Earth.

It also marks what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 96th birthday.

Playwright Slams Ohio Kent State For Casting White Guy As Martin Luther King

As Popdust previously reported, Madiba—the tribal birth name by which he is affectionately known in his homeland of South Africa—passed away on December 5, 2013, age 95.

Mandela Day was created by the United Nations in 2009 to honor the statesman's great legacy of peace, tolerance, forgiveness and unity—with the aim of encouraging people to volunteer and perform community service.

Paris Hilton’s ‘Touching Tribute’ To Nelson Mandela & His ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech

"Our message has to be this, Mr Mandela is gone, but his legacy lives on; Mr Mandela is gone, but the work he started will continue,” a spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela Foundation says.

To mark the day Popdust has compiled a selection of Mandela’s greatest quotes—all of which remain as pertinent as ever, given the never ending tensions, frictions, conflict and violence around the world.

Madonna Sparks Outrage For Defacing Pics Of MLK, Mandela To Promote Album

On freedom and slavery

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case.

The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road.

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

On facing adversity

If our expectations, if our fondest prayers and dreams, are not realized then we should all bear in mind that the greatest glory of living lies not in never falling but in rising every time you fall.

On racism

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 the opposite

On being a prisoner of conscience

I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for, because of what I thought, because of my conscience... If I had my time over I would do the same again. So would any man who dares call himself a man.

On making a difference in life

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

On facing adversity

Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.

On facing the death penalty for his beliefs

During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.

I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities.

It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to see realized. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

On the true meaning of freedom

What freedom am I being offered while the organization of the people remains banned? What freedom am I being offered when I may be arrested on a pass offense? What freedom am I being offered to live my life as a family with my dear wife who remains in banishment in Brandfort?

What freedom am I being offered when I must ask for permission to live in an urban area? What freedom am I being offered when I need a stamp in my pass to seek work? What freedom am I being offered when my very South African citizenship is not respected?

Only free men can negotiate. Prisoners cannot enter into contracts. Herman Toivo ja Toivo, when freed, never gave any undertaking, nor was he called upon to do so. I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free.Your freedom and mine cannot be separated. I will return.

On the importance of education

Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.

On ending apartheid in South Africa

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.

Let freedom reign! The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!