Thursday, October 27, 2016

Oliver Stone's "Snowden" - Civil Disobedience

"The Masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim." —Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind 

Snowden (2016)—based on The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man (2014) by Luke Harding—marks Oliver Stone's return to his politically oriented films as Born on the Fourth of July (1989), JFK (1991) and Nixon (1995). Although not reaching his previous artistic heights, Stone's latest effort still compounds a very intriguing portrayal of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Mimicking the serious tone of Laura Poitras's groundbreaking documentary Citizenfour (2014), Stone gives us an uneasy ride through a vertiginous landscape of the Orwellian US Intelligence Community and the deep state bent on massive global surveillance. “In one month, NSA collected 3.1 billion calls and emails from inside the United States… and that’s a partial count, it doesn’t include any Telecom company data,“ confides Snowden at one point.

Snowden’s NSA boss is named Corbin O’Brian (Rhys Ifans), after the antagonist in Orwell’s “1984,” a clear wink to the oppresive atmosphere permeating the sinister government facilities. “Most Americans don’t want freedom,” O’Brian assures Snowden: “They want security. People already catalog their lives for public consumption. Secrecy is security. And security is victory.”

Joseph Gordon-Levitt impersonates the elusive Snowden in a tour-de-force performance, including his almost robotic speech pattern and mannerisms without ever betraying the humanity of his controversial subject. Stone found Gordon-­Levitt’s approach too “documentary-ish” at times and encouraged him to try “for the dramatic side as much as possible.” The charismatic actor (creator of the interactive HitRecord community) renders an impressive psychological composition, avoiding blending in the shadow of Emmanuel Goldstein, projecting an earnest personality that echoes Snowden's heroic temperament.

Snowden cites Henry David Thoreau as one of his influences. For Thoreau, as reflected in his essay "Civil Disobedience" (1849), the government is primarily an agent of corruption. “There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power,” argues Thoreau. So it's "not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize."

Snowden contacted The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald with the intention of granting him exclusive access to thousands of leaked classified documents that would prove an indiscriminate use of the surveillance tools with obscure interests, contradicting Intelligence Director James Clapper's testimony before the Senate in 2013.

Another important asset is Shailene Woodley playing Snowden's longtime girlfriend Lindsay Mills, lending emotional weight to their tumultuous relationship. Their playful banter and thorny arguments feel natural, forcing us to witness the devastating effects of Snowden's stressful schedule over their personal and sexual dynamics.

One of the most interesting segments is Snowden deceiving the security personnel after making a copy of extensive classified information of the NSA, abandoning Hawaii, and escaping as a fugitive accepting temporary asylum in Russia. The real Snowden briefly appears in the film, courtesy of his clandestine collaboration with Stone, warning us of the necessity of rebelling against “a turnkey tyranny.”

Although the film's pace is uneven, Stone manages to break the surreal 'time stands still' mood of the Mira Hotel sequences in Hong Kong, contrasting it with disparate scenarios, where Snowden not only fights his epileptic attacks, he also must pit his principles against his demons, his professional wows against his feelings. n a visual collage scene that rememorates the patriotic sparks of the brilliant JFK, Snowden admits to the audience and himself: “the truth sinks in no matter what justifications you’re selling yourself: this isn’t about terrorism, terrorism is the excuse, and the only thing you’re protecting is the supremacy of your government.”

Edward Snowden didn’t want to overthrow the system. “What I wanted to do was give society the information it needed to decide if it wanted to change the system,” he informed to The Nation: “I have a somewhat sneaky way of effecting political change. I don’t want to directly confront great powers, which we cannot defeat on their terms. We cannot be effective without a mass movement, and the American people today are too comfortable to adapt to a mass movement.”

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” ―George Orwell, 1984

Friday, October 21, 2016

Nocturnal Animals (Amy Adams & Jake Gyllenhaal) Trailer, Modification of Memories

It’s quite the time to be alive for Amy Adams fans. On the heels of the final trailer for Denise Villeneuve’s “Arrival,” which has thrown Adams into the thick of the Best Actress Oscar race, a new trailer has debuted for “Nocturnal Animals.”

“Nocturnal Animals” is based on the 1993 Austin Wright novel “Tony and Susan.” The crime drama/melodrama hybrid divided critics at Venice and TIFF, though most agree the performances are stellar. 

Amy Adams plays a Los Angeles artist who’s unhappy with her job and marriage. She receives a manuscript from her ex-husband (Gyllenhaal), who she hasn’t seen in nearly 19 years, and begins devouring the text, which Ford brings to life in a duel storyline. The script details a shocking crime that happened to a family of three after they encountered a group of criminals while driving through the desert. Adams’ character takes the story as her ex-husband exacting revenge, but Ford has something much more dangerous up his sleeve.

The film also stars Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, and Jena Malone. Focus Features will release “Nocturnal Animals” in select theaters November 18. Source:

By framing a crime story within a domestic novel, Wright, an English professor and author of three previous novels, dissolves the fragile civility that often conceals violence. He also scrutinizes the institution of marriage, considers the nature of memory, and documents the potential impact of one's choices. At Edward Sheffield's request, Susan Morrow reads his first novel, Nocturnal Animals, in which an impulsive change of plan delivers Tony Hastings and his family into the hands of strangers who terrorize them. Passages from Sheffield's novel alternate between Susan's memories of Sheffield (her ex-husband), to details of her current marriage, to her speculations about the writer's and the reader's obligations. By counterpoising the eroding compromises of Susan's daily life with the sufferings of the Hastings family, Wright demonstrates that the refusal of individual responsibility infect both sexes and all classes. Highly recommended. -Library Journal, Jane S. Bakerman, Indiana State University.

Both true and false memories are associated with activity in the left posterior parahippocampal, bilateral retrosplenial, and bilateral posterior inferior parietal cortices, areas of the brain linked with memory retrieval. However, false memories were associated with equal amounts of activity in these brain regions when people looked at both the wrong and right photos; in contrast, true memories were associated with more activity in these brain regions. Moreover, compared with true memories, false memories involved greater activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Those brain regions are linked with flexible memory processes that allow for updating of existing memories with novel information, which unfortunately might involve false details.

“Our study provides evidence consistent with the general idea that some kinds of memory errors — in this case, falsely remembering that a ‘lure photo’ was encountered during the museum tour — can result from the operation of functional or adaptive memory processes that are otherwise beneficial,” St. Jacques says. “For example, if you couldn’t update your memory with new information you may have difficulty remembering where you parked your car today versus yesterday.” Future research can investigate what situations might support modification of memories. Source:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

His Girl Friday Blu-Ray: Rosalind Russell & Cary Grant, Screwball Gender Conflicts

"The so-called "digital" is not a mere technical medium, but a medium of thought. And when modern democracies turn technical thought into a separate domain, those modern democracies incline towards totalitarianism". Jean-Luc Godard

When adapting Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s smash hit play The Front Page, director Howard Hawks had the inspired idea of turning star reporter Hildy Johnson into a woman, and the result is an immortal mix of hard-boiled newsroom setting with remarriage comedy in His Girl Friday (1940). Also presented here is a brand-new restoration of the 1931 The Front Page, the famous pre-Code adaptation of the same material, directed by Lewis Milestone.

His Girl Friday Blu-Ray New Features:

-New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
-New 2K restoration of Lewis Milestone’s The Front Page (1931), made from a recently discovered  print of the director’s preferred version
-New interview with film scholar David Bordwell about His Girl Friday
-Archival interviews with director Howard Hawks
-Featurettes from 1999 about Hawks, actor Rosalind Russell, and the making of His Girl Friday
-Radio adaptation of His Girl Friday from 1940
-New piece about the restoration of The Front Page
-New piece about playwright and screenwriter Ben Hecht
-Radio adaptations of the play The Front Page from 1937 and 1946
-PLUS: A booklet featuring essays on His Girl Friday and The Front Page by film critics Farran Smith Nehme and Michael Sragow. 

The two opening episodes of His Girl Friday are an addition to the play and develop the romance. Six years after the beginning of the screwball cycle, Hawks brings the gender conflicts central to the movement to their most striking expression. Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) returns to The Morning Post to tell her editor and former husband Walter Burns (Cary Grant) that she is getting married. She even brings her fiance Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy) along with her (as if Walter will suspect a ruse unless he sees the hard evidence). The plot portrays the shifting gender roles that transformed the experience of women in the decades following World War I. In this romantic comedy, love and work are united rather than in conflict. Walter knows that if he can get Hildy to reexperience her passion as a reporter, she will revive her love for him in their common endeavor. On the other hand, Bruce Baldwin represents Walter’s opposite. Bruce is the traditional choice. As Hildy explains, “He treats me like a woman.” 

Hawks took his idea for turning The Front Page into a romantic comedy to Columbia Pictures, where Harry Cohn, the studio chief, gave the project a green light. When Ben Hecht was unavailable to write the revision, Hawks hired Charles Lederer, a member of Hecht’s circle who had worked on the film adaptation of The Front Page (1931), to do the screenplay. Many have noted the speed of His Girl Friday (Bordwell and Thompson 2001: 352). Hawks was proud of his snappy direction of dialogue, the interruptions, the overlapping exchanges, and rapid-fire speech (McBride 1982: 80–1). Todd McCarthy has noted that the film clocks in at 240 words per minute, about 100–50 words faster than normal American speech (1997: 283). Lea Jacobs times nine scenes with a delivery at or above four words per second, and two of those above five words per second (1998: 406). 

Others have explained that the use of gesture, movement by character, and camera and editing also propel the pace forward, complementing the rapid-fire talk (Mast 1982; Sarris 1968; Wood 1968). The contrast between the deliberate speech of Bruce and Earl and the fast-talking Walter and Hildy also intensifies the conflict between the slow rube and the quick-thinking sophisticate. It assures us that this couple are meant for each other. Hawks forgoes a musical score until the very end, allowing these other elements to determine the rhythm of his picture. 

His Girl Friday maintains a remarkable pace in a film made up exclusively of interior sets, whose final scene unfolds in thirty-three minutes without leaving one room. As a result, the audience senses the compression of time. What is the meaning of this stylistic device? The deadline approaches. There is little opportunity to think, and less time to feel. Only those with a quick mind, ready words, and fast reflexes prosper. The others have to take out insurance and hope that their cards are lucky. “You can’t trust anybody in this crazy world,” says Earl Williams. The poseurs, like Dr. Engelhofer, risk getting shot “in the classified ads.” A hanging, a jailbreak, a suicide, can suddenly shift the tide of fortune, and power changes hands. And so in affairs of the heart how can one listen to one’s own emotions, let alone sense the beloved? It’s best to act; to exercise one’s skill, and to work in tandem with those who share your talent, sense your direction, and feel your pulse. 

Speed and toughness give His Girl Friday a distinctive American character; clever and harsh, its intelligence glides beneath the surface, and its passion and concern are disguised by its cynicism. The film hides its feelings in the humor of a hostile world almost spinning out of control. The earnest ones who propose marriage and declare their love, like Bruce and Earl, are vulnerable and stupid. The emotion they express amounts to dime-store cliches whose reliability may fade with their confidence. Walter shuns expressions of affection and romantic gestures. He tells Hildy what she can do, what they can do together, who they are fighting against and campaigning alongside. 

His Girl Friday cuts fast and clean. The screwball couple work together and discover their love in action, their fun in words, their union through a tough-minded turn from sentiment in a world run by scoundrels at the expense of fools. Does Hildy’s education suppress a woman’s sensibility for a masculine exercise of power? Yes, Hildy does choose power over feeling, pragmatism over poses, but, as Walter says, she can write with a woman’s touch, she can hear Earl’s pathos rise from his confusion. But she fears the fate of Molly, the beleaguered woman whose caring was used against her. Hildy finds her power in words, her patron in Walter, and she chooses to break free and run with the scoundrels. 

Finally Hildy fully experiences her rebirth of feeling. Walter dispatched Hildy to stop the execution of Earl Williams, but also to cover a jailbreak. “I know you,” Walter claimed at the beginning, “I know what quitting would mean to you.” He had to imprison Bruce Baldwin three times and secure a reprieve for Earl Williams before Hildy finally discovered that she was the one who had to break free from the expectations of “being treated like a woman” and find her true self. "The Hollywood Romantic Comedy: Conventions, History, Controversies" (2011) by Leger Grindon

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on TV, The Beach Boys' Lost Concert, Sarah Everett's novel

Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman’s wickedly creative and widely beloved modern classic ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ is being developed for the small screen — neither of them will be involved in this new take on their high-concept romantic drama. Some episodes could end with the ex-partners deciding to give it another shot, others could end with them never crossing paths again. In the season finale, an entire country could ask to have their memories wiped of an election cycle, for example. In short, the series ought to emphasize Lacuna and what they offer rather than any particular characters. —David Ehrlich

An “Eternal Sunshine” series will work best if it eschews that sort of cutesy notion, instead opting to build on (and out of) the original film’s exceedingly brilliant premise. Winks and nods and tips of the hat seem to come part and parcel with this sort of project, and they shouldn’t, as they mostly distract and detract from the very possibility that a remake could be its own thing. Give us the show. But if Kirsten Dunst, who has already proven her ability to make a film-turned-TV-series into must-see viewing wanted to swing by, even I couldn’t be opposed to that. —Kate Erbland Source:

Woodshock (2017) is an upcoming American drama film written and directed by Rodarte label founders, Kate and Laura Mulleavy. The film stars Kirsten Dunst as Theresa. The film follows a woman who falls deeper into paranoia after taking a deadly drug. 

-Rolling Stone: What did you want people to learn from your life story, what are your regrets with drugs?

-Brian Wilson: I want people to realize that drugs can be very detrimental and dangerous. I've told a lot of people don't take psychedelic drugs. I regret having taken LSD. It's a bad drug.

-Rolling Stone: You also talked about mental illness. What do you want people to know about your mental-health struggles?

-Brian Wilson: Well, just that the struggle for mental health is the result of bad drugs.

-Rolling Stone: When you were going thinking back on your life, what made you the happiest?

-Brian Wilson: When I met my wife, Melinda. The night we recorded "Good Vibrations" at CBS Studio in Los Angeles was the biggest moment of my life. Recording "California Girls." When I first saw the ocean. I've had a few high points in my life. I listen to Sixties and Seventies music. Those two generations: the Sixties revolution and the Seventies revolution: The Beatles, "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes... Source:

Addie’s investigation into the source of her hallucinations of a teenage boy is interspersed with flashbacks of her first romance. Addie also realizes she’s delusional, but she believes that her hallucination has an identity in the real world. She begins researching, convinced that discovering his identity will stop the delusions. However, the investigation’s dramatic tension is somewhat diminished since the interwoven flashbacks have already revealed that the hallucination and Addie’s first boyfriend, Zach, share many physical traits. Readers spend much of the novel waiting for Addie to catch up, though the science-fiction brain surgery that explains both the hallucinations and a secondary plot involving Addie’s emotionally distant family dynamic will be surprising. The realistic message about the human heart’s resiliency doesn’t always fully merge with the science-fiction elements. Source:

"It was more than three decades neurobiologists formerly employed by the University of Maine conceived of a cure for military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They researched, experimented, and conducted longitudinal studies. By the time the Gulf War ended in the early 1990s, it was more than an idea. The theory: that the soldiers were held captive not by PTSD itself, but by memory. The cure: memory splicing, a technique that could wipe clean the worst of their memories, while preserving the best. After years of thorough trials, the Overton technique, as miraculous as it was exact, was made available to the general public. A number of refinements to the Overton technique have since been implemented, including limbic shaving —a tweaking of the emotional components of memories, the feeling and connotations of certain memories. A chill runs down my spine. They can change the way your memories feel? While we were inside the store, someone stuck a yellow flyer under the wiper: OVERTON INC.—CUTTING-EDGE NEUROSCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE." -"Everyone We've Been" (2016) by Sarah Everett

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Moonrise Kingdom and Whiplash Video Essays

Whether by naivetĂ©, folly of youth or wisdom beyond (or within) their years, Sam and Suzy's unshakable devotion and determination is the stuff of care-free, cinematic dreams. Their love isn't born out of fickle teen attraction or hormone-starved passion nor does it burn out or fade at the first sign of trouble. There's such an innocence to their impulsiveness, however reckless, and such a sweet sincerity to their flight and affections, however mismanaged, that it's difficult not to root for the runaways, even when their liberation causes grief and panic among their caretakers. Alone in the wilderness, away from those who either refuse to understand or are ill-equipped to do so, they find exactly what they're looking for; exactly what they've been longing for since they began exchanging letters a year before. 

It's a pure and powerful desire; romance at its most distilled, safety as only a child robbed of security from an early age can see it. Sam and Suzy are Romeo and Juliet, Bonnie and Clyde, Annie and Alvy, Jack and Rose. Or all of them, for that matter, save a crucial difference: Sam and Suzy's fate is in the hands of Wes Anderson, which all but assures us that their relationship isn't doomed to tragic end. Source:

Infused with a deep sense of film and literary history—from Salinger’s Holden Caulfield to Charlie Brown cartoons, Harold and Maude, Pierrot le Fou, and Summer of ’42—the world Anderson creates remains deeply his own. The video goes on to address how the dialogue both breaks from traditional filmmaking and supports the film’s overall style. The direct, affectless nature of the dialogue forces viewers to make their own decisions about the characters’ emotional states. This kind of frankness “mimics the earnestness of childhood,” while at the same time imitating “the emotional barriers we construct in adulthood,” leaving the protagonists to navigate between both extremes. Source:

This is a brief look into how writer/director Damien Chazelle shifts the viewers expectations in "Whiplash" starring Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, etc.

Miles Teller has signed on to voice the titular creature in John Stevenson’s The Ark and the Aardvark. The film is an animated riff on the Noah’s Ark tale, focusing on the aardvark’s perspective of what it’s like to survive a giant flood packed in a ship two-by-two. The Hollywood Reporter calls Teller’s character Gilbert a kind, funny soul who “leads a group of misfit animals though natural disasters and personal anxieties.” According to Stevenson, “Gilbert is young, spirited, sarcastic, and we couldn’t have found a more perfect artist to bring Gilbert to life in Miles.”

Teller is a huge talent who was entertaining as Peter in the Divergent movies and had his big dramatic break with 2014’s fantastic Whiplash, so maybe it’s time for him to flex his voice acting muscles. The Ark and the Aardvark doesn’t currently have a release date. You can see Teller back in the multiplex soon when his boxing drama Bleed for This opens November 23. Source:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"The Neon Demon" Blu-Ray: Beauty Always Wins

Nicholas Winding Refn: "Jesse (Elle Fanning) is partly a ghost that has gone through this thousands of times. Partly, she’s innocence that’s devoured by the industry. She may have initiated it, or she may not have — again, both sides of the coin. But when she’s devoured, three things happen: Jena Malone’s character, who initiates this whole ceremony of beauty, menstruates again, has something flowing through her. Bella Heathcote, who wants to manufacture her own beauty, dies — because that’s the one thing that you can’t do. And Abbey Lee, the supermodel, who felt like a ghost, but finds everything within her again, by eating the thing that Jesse is." Source:

Abbey Lee and Bella Heathcote are great as Jesse's chief rivals. They each have an otherworldly beauty to them but as the movie makes so painfully clear, it is, in the world of The Neon Demon at least, an artificial beauty. Jesse has what everyone wants, a ‘deer in the headlights' look, a ‘girl next door' look and, as she learns fairly quickly… "Women would kill to look like this."

Abbey Lee: The thing is, the visual that you get of the girl walking through the desert when the credits roll up, a lot of people think that's Jesse, but it's actually Sarah. In my mind, there's a transcendence that happens. I think the second Sarah eats the eyeball and transcends into like, a golden goddess walking through the desert, in my mind it's Nick saying that beauty does win — that beauty always wins.

The Neon Demon Blu-Ray Extras: The main extra on the disc is an audio commentary with director Nicolas Winding Refn who is joined by actress Elle Fanning. This is a pretty solid track with Refn talking about some of what inspired him to make this movie, a few ideas that were originally included that were then discarded as the production evolved, casting the film, some of the stand out visuals employed, the score and more. Fanning is able to offer some welcome insight into her character, what it was like working with Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks and some of the other cast members. There are also two short featurettes included on the disc, the first of which is the five minute Behind The Soundtrack Of The Neon Demon wherein Refn and composer Cliff Martinez talk about the use of music in the film and how and why the score is used in the feature the way it is. 

Nicolas Winding Refn: "I shot a Gucci ad with Blake Lively, who is an extremely beautiful woman. A beautiful creature. I was very aware of the fact of my own obsession with beauty and my own obsession with wanting to be a beautiful woman. So in a way, “Neon Demon” was my ability to live out that fantasy, and of course touching on my own thoughts regarding the obsession with beauty that we have in our world. The idea that obsession with beauty continues to rise and longevity continues to shrink and it’s becoming younger and younger so it will eventually feed on itself. I wanted to make a horror film about beauty. “Neon Demon” for me was like a ritualistic witchcraft analysis of beauty. It’s the creation of the demonic."

Jesse Eisenberg and Blake Lively in "Café Society" (2016) directed by Woody Allen.

Jonah Hill and Miles Teller star in War Dogs, but they weren’t the first actors cast. The script — which Phillips, Stephen Chin, and Jason Smilovic worked on — was written with The Wolf of Wall Street actor in mind, so after Jesse Eisenberg and Shia LaBeouf fell off the project, it all ended up working out, according to Phillips: "Eisenberg and LaBeouf were attached for a moment, and then we ended up pushing the movie an entire year and both guys became unavailable. When I first went to Jonah, before we pushed the movie, Jonah actually turned it down. I then cast it with Eisenberg and LaBeouf, then we pushed the movie a year for production reasons and that’s when they became unavailable." Two months before shooting, Miles Teller wasn’t a sure thing for the role of David Packouz, either. He had a scheduling conflict of some sort. As for Eisenberg and LaBeouf, they’d be easy to imagine in War Dogs. Obviously, they’d bring something different to the roles — they’re not all that similar to Teller and Hill— but in the end, Phillips got the actors he wanted. Source:

Haley Bennett plays Megan, the seemingly perfect wife at the heart of The Girl on the Train. Also out this fall is Warren Beatty’s long-awaited Rules Don’t Apply, about the adventures of Howard Hughes during the golden age of Hollywood. Bennett, showing her range, plays Mamie—“You’ll get to hear me sing.” 

We’ll also see her opposite Miles Teller in Thank You for Your Service (based on David Finkel’s book about American soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan), and she’s finished filming for Terrence Malick’s ode to the Austin music scene Weightless, in which she shares screen time with Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender. This impressive run reminds Bennett that, after almost a decade working, there is one particular director always at the top of her wish list: “I don’t know that I’ll ever get to make my ideal film, because Frank Capra is dead.” Nonetheless, the wish persists. “Eventually, I would like to remake one of his films—but that might be dangerous.”

Friday, September 23, 2016

Shailene Woodley & Miles Teller: Learning about Emotional Masturbation

Shailene Woodley has some requests about how sex education is taught in schools. Woodley, who is Net-a-Porter‘s digital magazine’s cover story, speaks up about the various causes that matter most to her, one of them being sex ed. She has thoughts about masturbation education, specifically.

Woodley mentions she once thought of pursuing the subject of masturbation and turning it into a book. She tells Net-a-Porter, “I’ve always had a dream of making a book called There’s No Right Way to Masturbate.” She believes young women should learn how to pleasure themselves because it is an important part of self-discovery: “As a young woman… you don’t learn what an orgasm should be, you don’t learn that you can have feelings of satisfaction.”

Woodley, who starred in Secret Life of the American Teenager, also attributes the connection of masturbation to teen pregnancy: “If masturbation were taught in school, I wonder how [many] fewer people would get herpes at 16 or pregnant at 14.” Source:

Hardly anyone is happy with sex education: All of the deep embarrassment you felt during sex-education class is still reddening the faces of kids all over the world. A new study has found that in at least 10 different countries, kids hate the way they’re being taught about sex in school. In the study published in the journal BMJ Open, researchers pored over 55 qualitative studies that examined the views of young people — mostly ages 12 to 18 — who’d received sex-and-relationship education at school in the U.S., UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Iran, Brazil and Sweden between 1990 and 2015. Teachers also presented the information as overly scientific, with hardly a nod to pleasure and desire; female pleasure was rarely mentioned. Source:

Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton as Alec and Megan in "Two Night Stand" (2014) discuss techniques of sexual improvement and sharing pleasure. -Alec: "When I was inside of you, you started doing this thing... you started helping yourself a little bit and it kind of made me feel like I was being benched. Second string." -Megan: "Noted. Okay, I don't know who first taught guys to do the 'alphabet with their tongue' thing, but it makes me feel like I'm Helen Keller being fucked by her teacher." -Alec: "And that is not a fantasy of yours?" -Megan: "There was a moment during foreplay in which I was maybe close to coming. And I believe I subtly pointed this out for you. Do you remember what it was that I said?" -Alec: "[you said] 'I'm close to coming.'" -Megan: "You kept trying to give me hickeys, you went like way too fast, like you were drilling me for oil. And then... you did find my G-spot... When a girl is helping herself, that's a good fucking thing... it's not like we're competing on some awesome erotic Japanese game show; we are having sex. You know, like, embrace the team spirit."

Miles Teller almost died a few years ago. After spending a few days at a Connecticut music festival, he and two buddies were road tripping home to Florida. Cruising down the highway at 75 mph, Teller's friend tried to switch lanes but lost control of the car, which went across three lanes of traffic, into a grass median, and flipped seven times. Teller was thrown 25 feet and awoke covered in blood.

"Do you want to feel?," the boyish actor said, showing off scars on his chin, neck and shoulder. "Some people get really excited by that." Two of his best friends were killed in a car accident a year later. Having to play a high school student who kills a boy with his car in 'Rabbit Hole' was overwhelming at first for the rookie actor. Teller was jarred by the bizarre happenstance of it all — but wasn't about to give up his first big break. "I was so afraid to even get close to the emotion I had to portray, because it would go into something else. It would end up being emotional masturbation." Teller had barely had any real-world acting experience.

As a kid, he'd moved a lot. His dad worked as an employee at nuclear power plants, and his job took the family from Delaware to New Jersey to Florida — where they settled in Lecanto, a town of fewer than 8,000 people. "When I first moved there, it was huge culture shock. I had never seen real-life rednecks," said Teller. "People wore Wranglers and cowboy hats and gold chains... I had no idea what was going on."

In an effort to find his niche during his sophomore year of high school, he decided on a whim to join the drama club — populated by "social outcasts who wore 'Nightmare Before Christmas' T-shirts" — because he thought Beth Bedee (the blond teacher who ran it) was hot. He was good at acting and began competing in the Florida State Thespian Program for audiences of thousands. He applied to a number of competitive college acting programs, including Juilliard, but ultimately ended up at Tisch. That was where he found his manager, who took the beginner on as a client after sitting in on one of his classes.

Cameron Mitchell said Teller's early tribulations will likely serve him well as he pursues a career in Hollywood. "He's so unobtrusive; but he's got these incredibly powerful, deep-pooled eyes that have definitely seen things before his time," said the director. "Oftentimes, experiencing tragedy very young can strangely give you a kind of equilibrium. He's less impressed by say, celebrities, or things that don't have that much weight — because he knows where he's been, and he knows what he's lost." Source:

-Miles Teller did an interview with Esquire in which he detailed how he lost the part in La La Land. Is that really how things happened?

-I probably just won’t say anything about anything he said in the interview. Except what I will say is that the casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations, and it’s true there was a moment where Emma Watson and Miles Teller were doing it. And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out. But I loved working with him in Whiplash. That’s why he and I started talking about doing this one together. And I think he’s an extraordinary actor and I can’t wait to see Bleed for This. Source:

Miles Teller described his odd “first contact” with Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, whom he portrays in Bleed for This. “He sent me a headshot of himself — him like boxing — and it said ‘Miles, don’t f— up my reputation. Stuff a banana in your pants if you have to. I’ll f— you up. I’m kidding, but seriously.'” Source: