The story of one streaming service is coming to another streaming service. Today, Netflix has announced a new, as-yet untitled scripted drama series about the rise of Spotify. Inspired by Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud’s book Spotify Untold, produced by Yellow Bird UK, and directed by Per-Olav Sørensen, the Swedish and English language show will … More »
Netflix has been expanding their roster of music-related programming, teaming up with artists like Thom Yorke, Bruce Springsteen, Sturgill Simpson, and Charli XCX. They based a whole series on Dolly Parton songs. They even had a hip-hip American Idol attempt with Rhythm & … More »
After months of suspense surrounding rumored new music, Kid Cudi has finally confirmed the title of his new album, Entergalactic, that is scheduled to be released next year. Fresh off the heels of the recent 11th anniversary of Cudi’s debut mixtape A Kid Named Cudi, it’s time to start preparing for what he’s up to next.
Along with the announcement of the new LP, Cudi also revealed a new Netflix series of the same name will accompany the album. This will be an adult series that is written, produced, and voiced entirely by Cudi himself. Read a tweet from Cudi below to get some of his thoughts on the new project:
Entergalactic will be something you’ve never experienced. I promise it’ll be a fun ride. Lot of good friends involved. Great songs too! The cast is coming together. I know a year from now seems like forever but itll be here before u know it!
— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) July 22, 2019
Entergalactic will be Cudi’s first solo album since 2016’s Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’. Since then he’s been busy working on his new project with Kanye West, KIDS SEE GHOSTS, which performed a headlining set at the 2018 edition of Camp Flog Gnaw in addition to performing a couple of songs during Cudi’s weekend two Coachella set last year.H/T: Run The Trap
Featured image: Getty Images
The Pitch: A young girl (Clara Rugaard) is raised in a secret lab/bunker by a maternal robot named Mother, voiced by Rose Byrne. According to Mother, a deadly virus has scoured humanity from the Earth, and Daughter — that’s her name — is the only human left. When she hits those perilous teen years, the pair’s relationship is imperiled not by the onset of puberty, but by the arrival of a mysterious survivor from the surface (Hilary Swank) who claims that it was actually a swarm of killer robots that murdered all the humans — robots that just so happen to look exactly like Mother. As tensions mount, Daughter is forced to confront the very fact of her existence, while figuring out who she can really trust, if anyone.
Robot Moms Just Don’t Understand: Between the lines of I Am Mother is an existential techno-drama that mostly finds the sweet spot between philosophy, psychology, and pure Luddism. Daughter’s relationship with Mother is off-putting in some ways — the fact that they only ever refer to each other as “Mother” and “Daughter” gives their scenes an appropriately uncanny edge — but it’s also a genuinely sweet one. Byrne subtly conveys Mother’s genuine concern for Daughter’s well-being, which is present even as tensions between the two begin to rise. At one point Mother refers to Swank’s character (credited only as “Woman”) as a “negative influence” on her daughter, sounding more like a real-live mom then a T-1000.
The film makes its bones by leaning into ambiguity. Once confronted with the Woman’s stories of the surface, Mother immediately admits that her story about the disease was, in her telling, a white lie meant to protect Daughter from the truth. By getting this bit of narrative business out of the way early, I Am Mother is able to quickly move on to more fruitful ground. Swank’s performance is a key figure in this equation, as the Woman never once seems like she’s telling Daughter the complete truth either. As the scientific method behind her upbringing — complete with lessons in utilitarianism and Kant — runs up against the gritty, hard-edged survivalism of life on the surface, Daughter is faced with two opposing choices that seem equally flawed. Even as Michael Lloyd Green’s screenplay (from a story by he and director Grant Sputore) slowly reveals its cards, it keeps these questions open for as long as it can.
Assembly-Line Imagery: One problem that the screenplay — a former resident of the Black List — doesn’t quite surmount is a tendency toward flat characterizations. This is likely the result of the movie’s three main characters being a teenager raised in a test tube, a robot, and a post-apocalyptic survivor. For contrast, the characters in the similarly claustrophobic 10 Cloverfield Lane were (fairly) normal people with lived experiences that they brought with them into John Goodman’s happy-fun-time bunker. Both films are knockout locked-room dramas with a paranoid, apocalyptic edge, but each reveals the different challenges faced by these kinds of stories. I Am Mother will make you ponder the very nature of humankind, while 10 Cloverfield Lane made you question other people.
While Sputore does a bang-up job with ratcheting up the film’s emotional stakes — the kind of work that should hopefully net him future jobs — the film is also slightly marred by its middling production design. The bunker has a generic sheen, as though selected from a Post-Apocalyptic-Bunker-Laboratories-R-Us. Advances in CGI have also created an odd no-man’s land for low-budget genre films like this one, foregrounded by a certain antiseptic polish that’s become a new visual shorthand for “B-movie.” The film lacks any kind of signature visual style, or any especially distinct images that will stay with you past the closing credits. Even Mother’s design is generically robotic, and the same goes for her more bloodthirsty kin, which Swank’s character refers to as “Dozers.”
The Verdict: Despite its sci-fi trappings, I Am Mother is really the kind of mid-budget drama that Hollywood has stopped making, leaving outlets like Netflix to pick up the slack: It favors interpersonal tension over action, and ideas over explosions. The film is good for much more than eating up an idle Wednesday night’s viewing, even if its impressions will fade for many over time. What sticks out most of all is a meta-concern: For a movie exploring the ramifications of technology thinking it knows what’s best for humanity, it’s ironic that most viewers will only find the film because a Netflix algorithm thinks they’ll like it. Like any good what-if story, I Am Mother is uncomfortably close to asking “What now?”
Where’s It Playing? Now available on Netflix.
Miley Cyrus announced her new project, She Is Coming, will be dropping on Friday, May 31. The venerated pop force has been teasing her highly-anticipated album with the release of the project’s cover, ASMR videos, and announcing her appearance on Netflix series Black Mirror, which lands June 5. The cover of the new record is a photo of Cyrus in a Sex Pistols shirt that reads “Never Mind The Bollocks,” a reference to the only studio album by the English punk rock band.
Over the weekend, Cyrus performed three new tracks at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend. One song referenced Cardi B and Nicki Minaj. She also performed “We Can’t Stop” with Charli XCX. Miley’s last album was released in 2017, Younger Now, which featured her hit song “Malibu.” There’s no telling what direction Miley will take, though her recent work with Mark Ronson signals an enticing new collection is underway. She remains elusive in her artistic expression, spanning a variety of genres from country to hip-hop, so who knows where Cyrus’ creative mind will take us? All we know is She Is Coming.
Fyre Festival‘s bankruptcy trustee, Gregory Messer, is working toward subpoenas for both Netflix and Hulu after both their respective documentaries were revealed to have mysterious exclusive footage. Reports had already been circling around that both streaming platforms had spent large sums in order to use this footage. According to bankruptcy law, if they payments had been made to the brand as the case had been unfolding, the funds would need to be used to pay off confirmed creditors on the plan. Tracking where the funds were wired to is proving a difficult task at the moment, as is confirming for sure whether or not the footage is a concrete asset of Fyre Festival LLC.
“Due to a lack of information, it is impossible for the Trustee to determine where the footage came from and whether such footage was an asset of the Debtor’s estate,” stated Messer when submitting his paperwork to the bankruptcy judge. Netflix and Hulu have yet to make an official statement on the legal matter.
H/T: EDM Tunes
Over the last two decades, Coachella has hosted some of the most memorable performances in the United States—from Daft Punk‘s legendary headline performance atop their pyramid pulpit to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre putting West Coast rap on their shoulders alongside a living hologram of Tupac. Though, as this year’s edition of the festival inches closer, none among them are fresher in people’s minds than Beyoncé’s unforgettable headlining affair in 2018. The performance, which was initially slated for Coachella 2017, wound up drawing a record number of viewers to Coachella’s live stream on Saturday night of last year’s opening weekend.
Now, the performance is coming to Netflix in a new documentary titled Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé. The new visual details the showstopping 26-song performance, the likes of which featured a massive marching band, a three-song Destiny’s Child reunion, and appearances by the Lemonade singer’s younger sister Solange, and her husband, JAY-Z. Netflix has shared the documentary’s official teaser, which features a voiceover from influential poet Maya Angelou. Homecoming is set to debut on the streaming platform on April 17. See the trailer below.
It’s hard to imagine a less of-the-cultural-moment movie than The Dirt, the story of Mötley Crüe’s rise to fame and fortune. The 2001 book on which the film (out today on Netflix) is based, and about which its “as-told-to” guy Neil Strauss is contractually forbidden to speak, depicts the members of the group, in their … More »
Idris Elba has released a track, “L.U.V.” featuring Shaznay Lewis, under his Charlie Ayo character name from the movie star’s new Netflix comedy series, Turn Up Charlie. It’s a retro house track with dissident ’70s vocals from Lewis that dance around Elba’s grime-inspired ad libs. Lush keys lay the melody atop a running house beat with crisp high hats and a disco bassline. Vocal chops eventually circulate the track in a cacophony of flying sounds amidst the swinging rhythm.
Turn Up Charlie premieres March 15 and showcases Charlie Ayo, played by Elba, as a struggling DJ on his last chance. In the eight-episode series, Ayo reluctantly takes a job as a “manny,” babysitting his famous best friend’s daughter. It’s a step outside of Elba’s usual James Bond character, as the storyline follows a longtime passion and side hustle from the renaissance man: DJing. This year, he is slated to perform at Coachella, so fans may able to hear “L.U.V.” played live at the Empire Polo Club.
Photo credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
Ellie Goulding‘s next release will be a bit of an outlier in the context of Goulding’s catalog. The UK songstress has worked with a number of power players in the course of her career, including Calvin Harris, Major Lazer, and most recently, Diplo, but Sir David Attenborough will be the first documentarian to collaborate with her. Renowned in nature documentary circles, Attenborough is currently putting the finishing touches on his next environmentally focused visual production, the forthcoming Netflix series, Our Planet, has tapped none other than Goulding herself to record a song for the project.
The Sun reported that Goulding recently stopped by London’s famed Abbey Road Studios to lend her vocals to the cause. The “environmental anthem” will pair Goulding’s voice with instrumental work from London’s Philharmonic Orchestra. Memorable for his prior work on the score for the space explorative film, Gravity, Oscar-winning composer Steven Price touts the writing credit for the Our Planet tune. The song, entitled “In This Together,” will debut in tandem with the series on April 5.
Attenborough is a choice collaborator for Goulding, whose work as an Environment Global Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations aligns with Attenborough’s long-term initiative to raise awareness of environmental issues through visual narration. Goulding expressed her admiration for Attenborough’s productions and conveyed that she’d been interested adapting Attenborough’s voice from documentary to song since 2014.
“I’ve written a lot of songs about relationships and break ups. I feel like my next album is going to be about the beginning of the universe,” Goulding told The Sun. “If I could somehow utilize [Attenborough’s] voice in a recording with me, it would be awesome—a chance to make a point with my music and his authority,” Goulding said.
“Ellie has been trying to work with David for years and was gobsmacked when she was asked to do so, for what is going to be his biggest global documentary project yet,” an unnamed source told The Sun. “He was well aware of her environmental work, he anted nobody else, and he hopes Ellie and Netflix can help him bring environmental cause to the young generation.”
Attenborough’s very first Netflix original, Our Planet will be available in 192 countries, and will unfold in eight parts. The series was filmed in 50 countries and necessitated 600 crew members to capture its constituting footage. Attenborough’s team worked for more than 3,500 days to accumulate the material that will figure in full form in Our Planet.
Photo Credit: Chris Tuite
H/T: The Sun