Don’t turn around, the musical biopic you were undoubtedly waiting for…

With all the great and at least slightly tragic musical figures who have earned the biopic treatment who could be next? Who could follow such deserving figures as Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Al Jolson, Jim Morrison, Ian Dury, Glen Miller, Gene Krupa, Edith Piaf, Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg, and, of course, Dewey Cox? Marvin Gaye? Jacques Brel? Joni Mitchell? Jimi Hendrix, for crying out loud?

Nope, why make just another flick about a genius who forever changed the face of contemporary music when you give the world the world story of the man without whom there would be no “Der Kommisar” and or “Rock Me, Amadeus.” Ladies and gentlemen, direct from Austria and the year 2008 — sometimes it takes a while for good things to make it stateside — I present “Falco – Verdammt, wir leben noch!” (“Falco – Damn, We’re Still Alive”). Forgive the lack of subtitles, but I’m feeling like we get the gist.

H/t to Christopher Stipp of /Film.

Okay, it should be mentioned that Falco was, in fact, the most famous German language pop artist internationally, at least that I can think of right now. Also, I sort of liked “Der Kommisar” back in the day. “Rock Me, Amadeus” never did it for (for that matter, neither did “Amadeus”). Also, I believe that my first ever paying writing assignment was writing a review of the worldwide-hit free album Herr Falco made betweeen “Der Kommisar” and “Rock Me Amadeus.” If memory serves, I think I gave it a C+ or, perhaps feeling a bit generous, a B-. Shades of things to come.

Special bonus video after the flip.

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Winter 2011 TCA Press Tour: 9 Memorable Moments from Day 9

For all of the panels that NBC-Universal offered us yesterday, none of them were really chock full of memorable quotes, so I thought I’d go a slightly different route with today’s retrospective and just cite some of my favorite moments from throughout the course of the day…and if you think this is mostly just a way for me to avoid having to trudge through the transcripts, give yourself a hearty pat on the back. Give me a break: it’s Day 9, and I’m very tired from arguing with Kara DioGuardi fans.

And on that note…

1. Bravo’s “Platinum Hit” session

You’ve hopefully already read my open letter to Ms. DioGuardi about my disappointment with the way she handled the inevitable question about her departure from “American Idol,” but that wasn’t the only part about the panel that grated on my nerves. One of the other judges on this songwriting-competition series is Jewel, and…okay, first of all, let me acknowledge that I’m not really a Jewel fan and under threat of death wouldn’t be able to come up with a more recent Jewel song than 2001’s “Standing Still,” but even when it comes to artists I do actively like, I don’t enjoy it when they slip into braggadocio. After Jewel dropped these lines during the panel…

* “I was talking to Steven Spielberg…”

* “I bought my house from all my hits.”

* “Bob Dylan took me under his wing when I was about 20. My first record was considered a failure, but he liked it and he was like, ‘Don’t sell out, don’t change, don’t start doing grunge, just do what you do, stay on the road, stay solo acoustic.’ And I did because he believed in me. And Neil Young was the same way.”

…I pretty much tuned out. I’m sure Jewel’s a very talented songwriter, but as I walked away from the panel, it was more with the feeling that she’s much more talented at namedropping.

2. Oxygen’s session for “The Glee Project.”

Actually, I couldn’t tell you a thing that was said during the session. I was too busy looking at the mike girls – they bring you the microphones to ask questions, then take them to the next person when you’re done – who were dressed in cheerleader outfits for the panel. Yeah, it’s definitely time for me to get home to my wife…

3. Keith David talking about the development of his awesome voice during the panel for “The Cape.”

“I was always a second tenor,” said David. “I was never, you know, Alfalfa. But when about 13, and I was a singer before I was an actor, and all I could sing was loud, and certainly I came into this I came into that Alfalfa transition where all I could do…”

At this point, he switched into a wobbly voice… “is talk like that all the time.”

Back to his regular voice. “And then something began to switch, and now I sound like I sound, you know. I’m grateful to be here because I do get a chance to use all you know, in the first episode, I say I’m using my stage voice. Well, you know, I mean, that was one of the when I read the script, that was one of the funniest moments for me because it’s, like, when I’m auditioning for things, many times I’m told, ‘Can you tone that down a little bit? Can you bring that back?’ So this is one of the few times I’m not always told that. That’s kind of nice.”

4. The “Harry’s Law” panel discussing the age of the show’s star.

By the time someone asked about the fact that Kathy Bates is 60 years old, which is pretty elderly when you consider the demos that the broadcast networks tend to look for, she’d pretty well charmed most of the audience. First, she said she decided on doing the show because, in her character’s first scene, “she had her feet up on the desk, she was smoking pot, and watching ‘Bugs Bunny.’ After that, I was in.” Then, when asked if it was hard to sustain her character’s grumpiness, she admitted, “I come naturally to that. Not to be flip, but I can be a naturally grumpy person…and adjusting to the long hours on the set helped that right along!”

When the topic of age was addressed, which series creator David E. Kelley took it in stride. “Not many networks have come to me recently and said, ‘Can you give me a series with a 60-year-old lead?'” he admitted. “But I have to believe that, given the universe of 500-plus channels, there has to be room on the landscape for one. When we landed Kathy to play the character, (NBC) were beyond thrilled. You can say it’s one thing to have a 60-year-old lead. It’s quite another to have Kathy Bates as your lead. So they probably, with a grain of salt, said, ‘Gee, do we want a series with an older actor?’ But once it became Kathy, there was no hesitation whatsoever.”

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It was 30 years ago today, sadly

Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. It was a bummer at the time and it’s depressing even now. In any case, it’s an opportune time to present a clip of Lennon and his little back-up band performing one of his most underrated songs.

Keeping up my Bob Dylan theme from yesterday, it’s worth noting that this was famously Lennon’s effort at writing a Dylan song. Of course, it came out a Lennon song, but that’s kind of the point.

Also, I never fail to marvel at how well these musical sequences from 1965’s “Help” — a movie that on the whole didn’t hang together at all well — were shot by the great director, Richard Lester. It’s a just about perfect sequence in my view. Coincidentally, MUBI pointed the way to this Look Magazine interview from the set of Lennon’s one and only solo starring role, also with Lester, “How I Won the War” from 1967. It was obviously hot on the heels of the “bigger than Jesus” craziness, so there’s the inevitable discussion of religion and spirituality.

Perhaps Leonard Gross thought he was just penning the usual cliches we writers write about controversial and talented creators when he wrote the following. Still, his wrap-up turned out to be a lot more right than he probably realized.

The hysteria that surrounds him can no longer disguise the presence of a mind. His ideas are still rough, but his instincts are good and his talent, extraordinary. You may love him, you may loath him, but this you should know: As performer, composer, writer or talker, he’ll be around for a long, long time.

  

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Ballad of a Thin Elf

In honor of her not unexpected casting in “The Hobbit” as Galadriel — along with a number of less well known performers — below is a moment of Cate Blanchett.

Since I’ve been in a Bobish mood today, I’m featuring her BAFTA-winning, Oscar-nominated turn as a sort of Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ collage-like “I’m Not There.” Below, she performs my favorite Bob Dylan tune as Bruce Greenwood realizes that something is happening here, but he doesn’t know what it is.

  

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A Chat with Robert Carlyle of “Stargate Universe”

To the world at large, Robert Carlyle is best known for his roles in “The Full Monty” and “Trainspotting,” though James Bond aficionados likely remember him more fondly for his villainous turn as Renard in “The World Is Not Enough.” Since 2009, however, sci-fi buffs have been thrilling to Carlyle’s work on “Stargate Universe,” where he plays the ever-scheming Dr. Nicholas Rush. Premium Hollywood had a chance to chat with Carlyle just as the series returns for its second season, and in addition to offering up a few ideas of what we can expect to see from Rush in the near future, he discussed his opportunity to direct an “SGU” episode, which actor on the show he’d like to work with more often, and what led him to venture away from motion pictures and take this gig in the first place.

Stay tuned for…

Premium Hollywood: Hello, Robert, how are you?

Robert Carlyle: Very well, thanks.

PH: It’s good to speak with you again. You and I chatted briefly a few years ago when you were at the TCA tour.

RC: Oh, right, okay!

PH: Well, you’ve been talking up Season 2 of “Stargate Universe” since Comic-Con in late July. You’ve got to be glad it’s finally here!

RC: Yeah! You know, it’s one of these things where suddenly it’s upon you! You get in the middle of it up there in Vancouver, and then it’s, like, “Okay, we’re on!” (Laughs)

PH: I’ve read some of the reports about your panel there. It sounded like you guys had a good time.

RC: Yes, absolutely! But, I mean, I enjoy everything about this. I really, really do love everything about this job. There’s nothing at all that’s upset me so far, or else I’d be gone. I wouldn’t be here. (Laughs) I’d be off doing something else. But this is all good .

PH: Do you enjoy the Comic-Con experience?

RC: Well, you know, you’re supposed to say that you don’t. Actors are supposed to say, “Nah, I hated it.” To be honest with ye, the first time ‘round, the first year, was a wee bit strange. It’s a strange, strange world. This time, I really enjoyed it. I really began to understand it a little bit more, what the convention’s about, and understanding that a lot of these people, the fans that come to these things, they meet each other at other conventions, and there’s kind of like a little community…and I felt kind of honored to be part of that this time. So I enjoyed it. I sat beside my wife one night, and the zombie parade came past…like, a thousand zombies came past the table. That’s not something you’re going to see every day, you know? (Laughs)

PH: Plus, you’ve got zombie street cred, thanks to “28 Weeks Later.”

RC: Well, you know something? I’m sitting there, I’ve got my shades on and my beard, but there were still zombies who stopped to shake my hand as they walked past. (Laughs) I thought, “My God, you’re real fans of that genre, aren’t ye?”

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