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Paul Thomas Anderson

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  • TV Picks: 'Adventure Time,' shows on writing, 'Muscle Shoals,' more

    TV Picks: 'Adventure Time,' shows on writing, 'Muscle Shoals,' more
    'Adventure Time' (Cartoon Network, Mondays). Pendleton Ward's splendiferous cartoon series begins its sixth season. (Which is not to say sixth year; it has been on the air only since 2010). By any standard of inventiveness, intelligence, imagination, ambition, care, fearlessness, boldness, openness, humor, poetry and love I'd care to live my life by, it is as good as anything on television; and better than many more ballyhooed series that only seem superior, in the cultural agora and critical Thunderdome, by virtue of being populated by fleshly beings. This is not the show's failing, but the world's. Its own world, and worlds within the worlds that world contains, represent a full spectrum of human emotion and existential whatnot. There is birth and death and transfiguration; killing and creating; love and desire; wisdom and flatulence. It is dark and life-affirming, funny and frightening; the nice can be naughty and the naughty nice. It is not a cartoon made for children, but it is not a cartoon not made for children. The magical and/or post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, where Jake the stretchy dog and Finn the human go on quests and protect the Candy Kingdom from the Nightosphere and so on, has its predecessors in a host of tales that take place over the rainbow or straight on till morning; but it is completely its own place, with its own rapidly evolving mythologies, ways of talking, of partying, of mixing the extraordinary and the humdrum, the yin and the yang, the anima and the animus. (Sometimes it flips gender, to become the adventures not of Finn and Jake, but of Fionna and Cake, with all the other characters translated accordingly.) The season opener, an especially beautiful, strange and exciting two-part special in which Finn searches for his "human father" within the "nastified" cosmic prison the Citadel, also brings back Kumail Nanjiani, whose year this seems to be (see also: "Silicon Valley," "Portlandia") as Prismo the Wish Master.
  • Cannes 2014: Gosling, Carell and Kristen Stewart headed to fest

    Cannes 2014: Gosling, Carell and Kristen Stewart headed to fest
    A number of high-profile 2014 awards hopefuls -- and an eclectic group of Hollywood stars -- will make their way to the Cannes Film Festival this year, joining the annual parade of global auteurs. Bennett Miller’s fact-based wrestling tale “...

    Robert Altman retrospective at UCLA: He led the way to freedom

    Robert Altman retrospective at UCLA: He led the way to freedom
    Robert Altman's films were audacious. He expanded the boundaries of genres. He gave his actors freedom to improvise and over the years created a stock company of stars. Along the way, he often polarized critics and audiences — and drove studio heads...

    Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' builds at the box office

    Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' builds at the box office
    (This article has been updated since its original posting. See note below.) Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is going strong at the box office as the film's slow expansion — now 304 theaters in its third weekend of release — brought...

    Philip Seymour Hoffman funeral: Fellow actors pay their respects

    Philip Seymour Hoffman funeral: Fellow actors pay their respects
    A funeral Mass for actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was held Friday at St. Ignatius of Loyola church on Park Avenue in New York City, with dozens of acting luminaries turning out to bid farewell to the Oscar winner who died Sunday of an apparent heroin...