FLIFF Hosts Lavish Gatsby Affair but Maintains Indie Integrity

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Michael Toledo

The first film at the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF), Free Ride, debuted to a packed audience. The crowd included the likes of producer Stephen Moyer (AKA Bill Compton of True Blood -- yes, the Vampire Bill), director Shana Betz -- who wrote and directed the film based on her mother -- and many sponsors and other participating directors.

After the film premiered, guests headed to a Great Gatsby-themed soiree that looked straight out of Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the classic novel. It was the cat's pajamas, if you will. The house itself was a work of art. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway, it held three bars, eight bedrooms, two pools, a man-made beach, and a 100-foot VIP yacht. Balloons clouded the pool while professional dancers decorated in flapper attire fox-trotted under a clear night sky. The courtyard was sprinkled in twinkle lights, and the guests were bedazzled in beaded dresses and gowns, zoot suits, and fedoras.

One of the sponsors, Cyndi Boyar, was dressed to the nines with her equally gorgeous friend, Hunter Powell, who flew down from New Jersey for the festival. "I'm a celebrity makeup artist, and I decided I wanted to be a part of FLIFF," says Boyar.


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Top Ten Best Uses of Beach Boys' Songs in Movies and on TV

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Sayre Berman

Brian Wilson coming to town again brings back memories of bikinis, beach parties, and endless summer nights where old age doesn't exist. But these aren't our own memories of Beach Boys' songs. Nope, they're ones we got watching the Beach Boys' songs play during movies or on TV during sandy surfy scenes. Usually, when the Beach Boys music is playing on a soundtrack, it's lazy shorthand for the director to convey the feeling that everyone's having fun in the sun. Here are ten examples of movies that used the Beach Boys' brilliant music in more inventive ways.

See also: Brian Wilson on Songwriting: "I'm Always Anxious to Make Each One Better"


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Splatter-Rama Returns, and It's Bloodier Than Ever

Ian Witlen

For those who get all tingly over smashed guts and bloody faces on the big screen, this Saturday brings with it a delightful surprise. Splatter-Rama returns to Cinema Paradiso with the goriest, most vile double feature around. This month features two ghoulish "night" films: Night of the Demons and Night of the Creeps.

The popular event quieted down after last March's screening. Radio-Active Records' Mikey Ramirez, who hosts the night, said that part of the reason for the break was that Record Store Day was consuming all of his time. The other reason was that he's just sold his house and was looking for a place to live. "After RSD, which was a huge success, I needed a break," he admits.

See also: Photos from Splatter-Rama, August 2012

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Top Ten Divas on Film

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In a wonderful coincidence, two of the top leading ladies of song of the twentieth century in Loretta Lynn and Diana Ross will be performing at Hard Rock Live in the coming weeks.

Their musical styles couldn't be more different. Lynn is known as a plain-spoken, country-singing woman of the people who wrote her own songs and played her own guitar. Ross is, to most, a glamorous disco queen whose group the Supremes helped Motown become the hit factory it's remembered as today.

But the two women have one other similarity, they were both inspirations for Academy Award winning movies. In their honor, we bring you to this list of the top ten divas on film.


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Win Tickets to See Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla in West Palm Beach

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If you were playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, someone you might want to sneak into your lineup of connected stars is Sinbad. Though he's not the first actor that comes to mind when you think "who's acted with everyone," he definitely might win you a game or two.

Fans of comedy, and those of you older the age of 30, will remember that he played alongside the Cosby family folks and Marisa Tomei in A Different World, Salma Hayek co-stared with him in The Sinbad Show, and not sure if this counts in finding your way to the Bacon, but he spent a Bosnia and Herzegovina USO tour with former FLOTUS Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Crow.

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That Was Piddie Korn: The Documentary Nobody Asked for That Everyone Should See

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Piddie Korn in a not-at-all creepy group glamour shot.

By Jesse Scheckner

Suddenly, on screen someone is being fellated. In a bargain motel room in the stretch between Miami and Athens, Georgia, sometime during their summer tour of 1998, two members of South Florida's oft-overlooked goof-pop-punk quintet Piddie Korn are tag-teaming some Tampa tail. To what is sure to be the on-screen girl's relief, nearly none of this pornographic scene will make it into his movie, but director, editor and producer Joel Sotolongo has a good explanation as to why it is among the footage he brought over for review.

"I'm showing you this, because I want you to know that when I say I filmed everything on the tour, I filmed fucking everything on the tour," he says.

That scene is among the 11 hours of raw footage Sotolongo is working through while piecing together his first full-length documentary feature, That was Piddie Korn, a subtle titular riff on the seminal 1984 Rob Reiner mocumentary, This is Spinal Tap.

See Also:
-Ten Reasons You Needed Club Q More Than It Needed You in 2001


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Vivica A. Fox's Role in Home Run Involved the Lord Putting Her in "the Right Place at the Right Time"

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Miami's Holly Hunt is one of the gnarliest sludge bands of all time. However, the local duo's name derives from an extravagantly high-priced furniture store in Miami's Design District. Wouldn't you rather brand your rock group with the name of a more provocative woman? How about, Vivica A. Fox? "Dude, I play guitar for Vivica Fox." Can you hear the crowd chanting, "VIVICA FOX!!!" while holding their cell phones in the air? 

When you win those Grammy Awards, and Gwen Stefani asks why you named your band Vivica A. Fox, the answers are simple: "Number one: The sensational fight scene in Kill Bill Volume 1. Number 2: She dated 50 Cent." How about this, "Vivica Fox's hair collection has generated over $20 million in sales, and we've already sold 20 million copies of our debut album."   

But wait, there's more. Much more! Vivica Fox co-starred in the most ingenious portrayal of the rock and roll lifestyle ever: Curb Your Enthusiasm. On that TV series, the father of rock and roll comedy Larry David, ends up in a relationship with Fox's character, Loretta Black. 

That all being said, your bashful blogger recently attended a screening for an independent film (which hits theaters this Friday April 19), Home Run, starring the woman who we are going to name our band after. 

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Roger Ebert, the Screenwriter Turned Critic and Philosopher, Lives on in Us All

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via whyevolutionistrue.blogspot.com
"You will drink the black sperm of my vengeance." -- Ronnie Barzell in Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

That line of dialogue, by itself, would have been enough to get a flick one of film critic Roger Ebert's notorious thumbs down.

Ebert, who died of cancer on April 4, is as responsible for anyone for the democratization of film criticism. His 1980's TV series Sneak Previews and At The Movies with fellow Chicago newspaper film critic, Gene Siskel, simplified opinions to three words, two thumbs up, two thumbs down, or occasionally the six worded one thumb up one thumb down. You could give Ebert partial credit for making it look like the 140 characters you get on Twitter is more than sufficient space to criticize a film.

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Top Five Documentaries About Obscure Musicians

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It was a triumphant moment for music when Searching for Sugar Man won the Academy Award for best documentary last month. Yes, it was nice that after decades of anonymity, the subject of the movie, singer/songwriter Rodriguez got his day in the sun. But the award also validated what has, over the last decade, become the most consistently great genre in the world of film, the documentary about obscure musicians.

The story of the Beatles as told in The Beatles Anthology is crafted so well that you realize if the Beatles didn't exist, someone would have had to make them up. But everyone knows the Beatles did in fact exist. The genius of the documentary about the obscure musician is we are not entirely sure if it's made up or not.

If the goal of every movie is to give audiences a suspension of disbelief, the following five (supposedly true) movies are smash successes.

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Nicki Minaj Has a Comic Book?! Ten Better Musician Superhero Suggestions

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Bluewater Comics recently released the series Fame: Nicki Minaj -- and, no, we've never heard of Bluewater Comics either.

Apparently, the independent company produces three lines of biography comics: Female Force, Political Power, and Fame. The latest addition to the Fame series, Nicki Minaj, promises to explore the life and times of the young starlet. But why stop there, Bluewater Comics?

Comic books have long been the primary medium for telling larger-than-life stories. We say, give the girl some real freakish superpowers! Have her fight crime with a league of multiplatinum recording artists. Make the villains from other dimensions or time-jumpers from the ancient past. C'mon, Bluewater, you're selling the audience short if there isn't at least one skimpy superhero outfit with spandex and capes.

For your reading pleasure, we offer you ten real-life recording artists turned comic book protagonists, the way it's supposed to be done.

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