Josh and Benny Safdie's new movie Uncut Gems is a critical hit, and that's largely thanks in part to the widely praised performance of star Adam Sandler. Viewers may actually have Jay-Z to thank for that, as his video for the 2017 song “Marcy Me” is apparently part of what helped bring Sandler on board to be in the movie.
Aside from feature films, the Safdie brothers have also directed some music videos, including the “Marcy Me” clip. The Safdies spoke with Pitchfork recently, and they said that while they were recruiting Sandler to star in the movie, the video made a big impression on the actor, and helped convince him to accept the starring role in the film. Josh said, “He really emotionally responded to it. It only helped in that courtship.” Additionally, the video was the first time the brothers worked with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Darius Khondji, who shot Uncut Gems.
Josh also said shooting the video was a difficult and wild time, but it led to a product he looks back on with pride: “Those were the hardest, most chaotic shooting conditions I've ever been a part of. I'm very proud of that video.”
This musical element to the origin of Uncut Gems is appropriate, considering that the movie has multiple other connections to the music world: The Weeknd has a role in the movie, and the score was composed by Daniel Lopatin, who is better known as Oneohtrix Point Never.
Read our interview with Josh and Benny Safdie here, and watch the “Marcy Me” video below.
'We need to support these people that put a smile on strangers' faces,' Mandel said during Laugh Aid, a live charity event for comics affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a few laughs could do the world good — and comedians including Adam Sandler, Howie Mandel, Whitney Cummings and more are offering just that during the Laugh Aid livestream.
The six-hour charity event began Saturday afternoon, focused on gathering donations for Comedy Gives Back's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that aims to assist comedians struggling during the virus crisis. Over $300,000 has been raised and donations can be given at cc.com/laughaid.
Howie Mandel, one of many hosts for the event, stressed that 'we need laughter... laughter is, as everybody says, the best medicine' and that Laugh Aid will be a huge support to out-of-work comics. 'We need to support these people that put a smile on strangers' faces.'
Iliza Shlesinger appeared with chef husband Noah Galuten to cook a hearty quarantine meal, sourkraut and beans, while joking that the the stream of comedians on webcams looked like 'a bunch of moms trying to broadcast.'
Bob Saget and Whitney Cummings, who also helped with hosting duties, mentioned how interesting Laugh Aid had been in terms of looking into famous comedian homes — especially Mandel's. 'My favorite part of the show was how Howie Mandel was trying to find the shittiest part of his house to look relatable,' Cummings quipped.
During Drew Carey's appearance, the Whose Line Is It Anyway? host taught improvisational games to Cummings, saying they could offer entertainment for those quarantined at home. Cummings, sarcastically unsure of her skill, said 'I'm afraid I'm about to set women back 80 years.'
Cummings, joined by Bert Kreischer with six feet of distance between them, also checked in with Adam Sandler, who said he has been spending his quarantined time staying up until early in the morning with his two children.
Laugh Aid is set to stream for six hours on Saturday through Twitch, Twitter, Comedy Central's YouTube channel, Facebook, and the Laugh Lounge app. An audio version will be available afterward on Spotify and SiriusXM.
The livestream will also feature Bill Burr, Marc Maron, David Spade, Dane Cook, Jim Gaffigan, Patton Oswalt, Ray Romano, Jeff Ross, Anthony Jeselnik, Tom Papa, Amanda Seales, Jessica Kirson, The Sklar Brothers, Bert Kreischer, Big Jay Oakerson, Dan Soder and more.
Watch Laugh Aid's livestream below.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Uncut Gems generated a massive buzz for its inclusion of unexpected guest performances from the likes of Kevin Garnett and The Weeknd but it turns out there was one potential performance we all missed out on. According to Harlem rap godfather Cam'ron, he was supposed to star in the film alongside Jonah Hill and Manhattan Diamond District jewelers Izzy and Joseph Aranbayev aka Avianne & Co., but he was ultimately bypassed for unknown reasons.
Cam posted to Instagram in response to a feature on Complex about Avianne & Co. and their role in helping to make the Safdie brothers' film a reality. The feature reveals that the Aranbayev brothers were supposed to join the other sibling duo in crafting the film — however, despite providing many of the jewelry pieces used in it, they didn't get the opportunity to appear in it themselves.
Cam'ron not only confirmed their story, he added a detail of his own: That he believes Josh Safdie used him to get to the Aranbayev brothers, as he was one of their loyal customers. He complains that the role they wanted to give his was “sucker ass role” and that he didn't even get a shout-out in the credits. However, he insists that Safdie is “still my guy” and jokingly requests a consultant fee, ultimately congratulates everyone involved on the film's success.
Check out the post above.
With the total number of COVID-19 cases in the US nearing 300,000, the need for surgical masks and other medical supplies is higher than ever. Recently, some celebrities have taked the initiative to purchase masks and have them made to be donated to various hospitals. Earlier this week, DJ Khaled and his philanthropic foundation We The Best partnered with Direct Relief and Simplehuman to purchase and donate 100,000 masks and other personal protective equipment PPE to healthcare workers in Miami and New York hospitals. Last week, Future announced that he would also be donating masks through a partnership between his non-profit, FreeWishes Foundation, and Atlanta Sewing Style. Now, Jay-Z and Meek Mill have announced their own plans to donate masks, but this time, to prisons that are in need of them.
Working through their criminal reform organization, Reform Alliance, Jay-Z and Meek Mill announced they’ll donate 100,000 surgical masks to various prisons across the country. News of their donation arrived just a day after rapper YNW Melly revealed he had tested positive for the virus while awaiting his trial in a South Florida jail.
According to CBS News, of the 100,000 masks, the Reform Alliance will send 40,000 masks to the Tennessee Department of Corrections, 5,000 to Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, 50,000 to Rikers Island jail in New York City — which had 650 inmates released from the prison to fight overcrowding according to New York City mayor Bill De Blasio — and an additional 2,500 masks to a Rikers medical facility.
Speaking on the donations to CBS News, Jessica Jackson, the chief advocacy officer at Reform Alliance said, “We’re really worried about the number of people coming in and out of the facility, and the fact that the people living there might be sitting ducks during this pandemic… We’re still looking at jail and prison populations that are completely overcrowded to dangerous levels when you’re looking at a pandemic like this head-on.
“This is a movement,” she said. “But we need all of the voices we can get.”
Meek Mill is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.