If it weren’t for music we would undoubtedly have a very dull existence. The way it affects emotion, moods, and conveys ideas make it one of the most powerful and intimate artistic mediums in the world. We identify with the music we like and through it feel a connection with the people who wrote it. Although we all have our personal tastes there are some pieces and genres that are almost objectively above the rest. These are the men behind those pieces. These are 25 of the most celebrated composers in history.

25. Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven started going deaf at the turn of the century and it became sadly apparent that he could not always hear what he played. After 1819, all conversations with him had to be written down.

24. Antonio Vivaldi

Like Mozart, Vivaldi died in poverty, in an unmarked grave. Both composers were similar in how they achieved greatness in their composition and popularity, yet failed to secure financial greatness.

23. Aaron Copland

Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition, he was widely known as “the dean of American composers”.

22. Franz Joseph Haydn

Anyone who can write 108 symphonies makes this list.

21. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Interesting fact: he hated writing The Nutcracker, undoubtedly his most famous work.

20. Carl Nielson

Undoubtedly Denmark’s most famous composer he went against his roots and added foreign, romantic flavors to his music.

19. Gustav Mahler

Sometimes called “the symphonist of death”, he only wrote 9 complete symphonies, all of which are centered around death and the afterlife.

18. Johannes Brahms

One of the finest musical craftsmen of all time, he wrote 4 symphonies which are among the most recorded repertoire ever.

17. Franz Liszt

Liszt was the greatest pianist of all time. He sightread Grieg’s Piano Concerto, playing it perfectly the first time.

16. Modest Mussorgsky

Well known for his smash hit,Night on Bald Mountain, which is the #3 most recorded orchestral piece in history.

15. Frederic Chopin

As a pianist, Chopin was ranked among the greatest artists of his epoch, such as Kalkbrenner, Liszt, Thalberg and Herz, but, in contrast to them, he disliked public performances and appeared rarely and rather unwillingly.

14. Leonard Bernstein

His incredibly popularWest Side Storycombines Jazz, Classical, Puerto Rican and Romantic elements. How could he not make the list?

13. Franz Schubert

Sometimes called the greatest songwriter of all time.

12. Dmitri Shostakovich

Shostakovich himself got into trouble with the goverment for his opera ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’ (he was made an “Enemy of the People”). They said it was ‘coarse, primitive and vulgar’ and it was banned for almost 30 years!

11. Richard Wagner

In spite of his supposedly less than amiable personality he managed to write the single most famous masterpiece in opera history: The Ring Cycle.

10. Gyorgy Ligeti

A Hungarian-born composer who stands out from the rest of the post-war European avant-garde.

9. Johann Sebastian Bach

He perfected every style of music which existed in his day.

8. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The most gifted musical genius in history, the most famous genius in any field in history, and the perfecter of Classical music had to make the list.

7. John Williams

Williams places above Mozart on this list simply because he is more recent – relatable to modern times – and he wrote the single highest grossing film score ever: Star Wars.

6. Alexander Scriabin

This Russian was born with synesthesia, an extremely rare mental condition where a color is associated with music.

5. Steven Schwartz

His musicalWickedgrossed $56 million its first year on Broadway.

4. Igor Stravinsky

If you have an hour to spare, listen to The Rite of Spring, then you’ll understand. At its premier in 1913, people were so upset by its dissonant harmonies, obtuserhythms, and the fact that the story is of a young girl dancing herself to death, that the most infamous riot in France’s history was started.

3. Bela Bartok

Some say he was the first great ethnomusicologist, and he also pioneered many new string playing techniques.

2. Ennio Morricone

Although he did not ever have as big a hit as John Williams’ Star Wars, Morricone has been named the most successful movie soundtrack composer ever by several musicologists.

1. Andrew Lloyd Webber

The most successful and popular composer in history. His career on Broadway culminated in the 1986 premier of The Phantom of the Opera, which has gone on to become the most popular piece of entertainment of any kind in history, still touring throughout the world to this day. Throughout its 27 year lifespan, The Phantom of the Opera has grossed more than $5.6 billion and been seen by more than 130 million people.

Read more: http://list25.com/25-of-the-most-celebrated-composers-in-history/

In the last 14 years, the 21st century has already offered some incredible additions to the musical theater pantheon. These are the best new musicals, both on and off-Broadway.

43. American Idiot

American Idiot

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Bryan Bedder / Getty

Book: Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael MayerMusic: Green DayLyrics: Billie Joe ArmstrongOriginal Broadway cast: John Gallagher Jr. as Johnny, Michael Esper as Will, Mary Faber as Heather, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername, Christina Sajous as The Extraordinary Girl, Stark Sands as Tunny, Tony Vincent as St. JimmyPerformance dates: April 20, 2010-April 24, 2011

What it’s about: Johnny, Will, and Tunny are three disaffected youths living in Jingletown, USA. While Johnny and Tunny escape to the city, Will is forced to stay behind with his pregnant girlfriend Heather. The city offers new thrills, but Johnny falls into drug abuse and Tunny is recruited and enlists in the army.Why it’s essential: There were rock musicals before American Idiot, but few were as effective at capturing the raw energy that infuses the show. Although the music isn’t original, it’s transformed in its theatrical context. Like the album on which it’s based, American Idiot feels like a time capsule of Bush-era rage and ennui.

42. Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde

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Paul Kolnik

Book: Heather HachMusic and lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe and Nell BenjaminOriginal Broadway cast: Laura Bell Bundy as Elle Woods, Richard H. Blake as Warner Huntington III, Christian Borle as Emmett Forrest, Orfeh as Paulette, Michael Rupert as Professor Callahan, Kate Shindle as Vivienne Kensington, Nikki Snelson as Brooke WyndamPerformance dates: April 29, 2007-Oct. 19, 2008

What it’s about: Based on the 2001 film of the same name, Legally Blonde follows Elle Woods, a sorority girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend Warner and ends up following him to Harvard Law School to win him back. She turns out to be adept at the law and ends up defending a woman falsely accused of murder.Why it’s essential: It may not be the deepest musical, but Legally Blonde — like Elle Woods — deserves credit for what it does well. The show is just fun, a pitch-perfect adaptation of the similarly delightful film, and it was the ideal showcase for the bubbly talents of Laura Bell Bundy.

41. Yank!


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Carol Rosegg

Book: David ZellnikMusic: Joseph ZellnikLyrics: David ZellnikOriginal off-Broadway cast: Nancy Anderson as Women, Jeffry Denman as Artie, Ivan Hernandez as Mitch, Bobby Steggert as Stu, Andrew Durand as Tennessee, Zak Edwards as Melanie, Todd Faulkner as Sarge, Denis Lambert as Lieutenant, Joseph Medeiros as Dream Stu, David Perlman as Rotelli, Christopher Ruth as Professor, Tally Sessions as CzechowskiPerformance dates: Feb. 24, 2010-April 4, 2010

What it’s about: A young man in San Francisco finds an old diary belonging to Stu, who writes about being drafted to fight in World War II back in 1943. Among his fears about combat, Stu has to confront his feelings for fellow soldier Mitch. Working as a photographer for Yank Magazine, Stu discovers a hidden gay world.Why it’s essential: Yank!, which was first performed as a workshop in 2005, was revived off-Broadway in 2010, a time at which DADT was very much part of the national conversation. The music and style evoke a classic 1940s musical, but the timeless themes and military context made it relevant for a modern-day audience.

40. Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

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Chad Batka

Book: Dave MalloyMusic and lyrics: Dave MalloyOriginal off-Broadway cast: Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Mary, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Hélène, Ian Lassiter as Dolokhov, Dave Malloy as Pierre, Grace McLean as Marya D, Paul Pinto as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha, Lucas Steele as AnatolePerformance dates: May 15, 2013-March 2, 2014

What it’s about: Based on Tolstoy’s War and Peace — or rather, one section of the epic Russian novel — Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 sees the titular Natasha romanced by Anatole in 19th century Moscow high society. Complicating matters, Pierre also has eyes for Natasha, much to his despair.Why it’s essential: A musical based on War and Peace is already a tough sell, but add to that the fact that Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 is performed in a tent while the audience eats and drinks, making this an impressively immersive show. Thoroughly unique experiences like this one are few and far between.

39. Once


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Joan Marcus

Book: Enda WalshMusic and lyrics: Glen Hansard and Markéta IrglováOriginal Broadway cast: Steve Kazee as Guy, Cristin Milioti as Girl, David Abeles as Eamon, Will Connolly as Andrej, Elizabeth A. Davis as Réza, David Patrick Kelly as Da, Anne L. Nathan as Baruška, Lucas Papaelias as Švec, Andy Taylor as Bank ManagerPerformance dates: March 18, 2012-

What it’s about: A stage adaptation of the 2006 musical film, Once is about an unnamed man and woman who form a musical partnership and fall in love over a few days in Dublin. Sadly, Guy, an unsuccessful busker, and Girl, a Czech immigrant, are both involved with other lovers, and their brief affair goes unconsummated.Why it’s essential: Today’s Broadway loves musical adaptations of films, but Once stands out from the rest. It’s a hauntingly bittersweet show made all the more memorable by its intimate staging, including the stage doubling as a bar during intermission. Like the film, its power lies in being an untraditional love story.

38. Giant


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Joan Marcus

Book: Sybille PearsonMusic and lyrics: Michael John LaChiusaOriginal off-Broadway cast: Kate Baldwin as Leslie, Brian d’Arcy James as Bick, P.J. Griffith as Jett, John Dossett as Bawley, Michelle Pawk as Luz, MacKenzie Mauzy as Lil Luz, Bobby Steggert as Jordy Jr., Jon Fletcher as Bobby Jr./Bobby Sr.Performance dates: Oct. 26, 2012-Dec. 16, 2012

What it’s about: Like the classic 1956 film, Giant is an expansive story based on Edna Ferber’s 1952 novel. It begins in 1922, with cattleman Bick marrying Leslie. Also in love with Leslie is Jett, a handyman who discovers oil on his own. The story covers decades of shifting relationships and changing ideals.Why it’s essential: Giant tests the limits of how long a musical can be, clocking in at an impressive three hours and 45 minutes. Originally presented in three acts, Giant may simply be too much for some, but the show’s length aptly reflects the expansiveness of the plot and of the Texas setting. It’s called Giant for a reason.

37. Adding Machine

Adding Machine

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Mark L. Saperstein

Book: Jason Loewith and Joshua SchmidtMusic: Joshua SchmidtLyrics: Jason Loewith and Joshua SchmidtOriginal off-Broadway cast: Cyrilla Baer as Mrs. Zero, Joel Hatch as Mr. Zero, Amy Warren as Daisy Devore, Joe Farrell as Shrdlu, Jeff Still as Boss/Fixer/Charles, Adinah Alexander as Mrs. Two, Niffer Clarke as Mrs. One, Roger E. DeWitt as Mr. Two, Daniel Marcus as Mr. OnePerformance dates: Feb. 25, 2008-July 20, 2008

What it’s about: A musical adaptation of the 1923 Elmer Rice play, an Expressionist classic, Adding Machine is a bit hard to describe. Antihero Mr. Zero learns he has been replaced by an adding machine after 25 years of work, so he kills his boss in revenge. He is tried for murder and hanged — but that’s not the end.Why it’s essential: It’s fitting that an odd Expressionist play would become an odd Expressionist musical. Adding Machine represents the kind of unconventional theater that can find a comfortable home off-Broadway. And the theater community takes notice — the show won the Lucille Ortel Award for Outstanding Musical.

36. A Class Act

A Class Act

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Joan Marcus

Book: Linda Kline and Lonny PriceMusic and lyrics: Edward KlebanOriginal Broadway cast: Lonny Price as Ed, Randy Graff as Sophie, Nancy Anderson as Mona, Jeff Blumenkrantz as Charley, Donna Bullock as Lucy, David Hibbard as Bobby, Patrick Quinn as Lehman, Sara Ramirez as FeliciaPerformance dates: March 11, 2001-June 10, 2001

What it’s about: The semi-autobiographical A Class Act reflects on the life and work of composer-lyricist Edward Kleban by those who knew him. The musical begins with a 1988 memorial service for Kleban, then moves backward in time, showing Kleban’s interactions with friends and colleagues through his music.Why it’s essential: Just as A Chorus Line — for which Kleban wrote the lyrics — offered invaluable insight into the lives of performers, A Class Act is an intimate and revelatory peek behind the curtain. It’s a fascinating study of how an artist’s personal life interferes with his work — and vice versa.

35. Memphis


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Paul Kolnik

Book: Joe DiPietroMusic: David BryanLyrics: Joe DiPietro and David BryanOriginal Broadway cast: Chad Kimball as Huey Calhoun, Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell, J. Bernard Calloway as Delray, Derrick Baskin as Gator, James Monroe Iglehart as Bobby, Cass Morgan as Mama/Gladys, Michael McGrath as Mr. SimmonsPerformance dates: Oct. 19, 2009-Aug. 5, 2012

What it’s about: Memphis is inspired by the story of Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first white DJs to play black music in the ’50s. Here, Dewey is reimagined as Huey, who enters the world of underground black clubs in Memphis because he loves the music, and ends up falling for Felicia, against societal conventions.Why it’s important: While Memphis isn’t the first musical to cover similar subject matter, it still offers a different and important take on the relationship between racial segregation and rock ‘n’ roll. What makes the show especially effective is that the music, while recalling the era, is all original to the musical.

34. If/Then


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Joan Marcus

Book: Brian YorkeyMusic: Tom KittLyrics: Brian YorkeyOriginal Broadway cast: Idina Menzel as Elizabeth, LaChanze as Kate, Anthony Rapp as Lucas, James Snyder as Josh, Jenn Colella as Anne, Jerry Dixon as Stephen, Jason Tam as DavidPerformance dates: March 30, 2014-

What it’s about: Recently divorced Elizabeth imagines two different paths for herself based on a chance decision — does she go with Kate or Lucas? The show explores both timelines, in which Elizabeth is alternately Liz and Beth, and how her relationships with Kate, Lucas, and a soldier named Josh play out differently.Why it’s essential: Some have criticized If/Then for being messy, but the show’s intricate, complicated nature is the perfect representation of Elizabeth’s life. The dual lives format is a fantastical conceit that’s also grounded in reality, which makes for some heartbreaking moments in a musical that is ultimately life-affirming.

33. [title of show]

[title of show]

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Carol Rosegg

Book: Hunter BellMusic and lyrics: Jeff BowenOriginal Broadway cast: Hunter Bell as Hunter, Susan Blackwell as Susan, Heidi Blickenstaff as Heidi, Jeff Bowen as JeffPerformance dates: July 17, 2008-Oct. 12, 2008

What it’s about: This is what happens when you scramble to write a musical. Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen based [title on show] on… well, writing [title of show]. It’s a musical about the creation of a musical, inspired by the conversations they had as they were struggling to write a new original work.Why it’s essential: Few shows capture the artistic process better than [title of show], which is the definition of a happy accident. Yes, it’s meta and post-modern, but it’s also just a wonderful musical in its own right. It’s an example of creative people getting together to make something new, and stumbling on genius.

32. Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

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Joan Marcus

Book: Marshall Brickman and Rick EliceMusic: Bob GaudioLyrics: Bob CreweOriginal Broadway cast: Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi, John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Tituss Burgess as Hal Miller, Steve Gouveia as Hank Majewski, Peter Gregus as Bob Crewe, Donnie Kehr as Norm Waxman, Michael Longoria as JoeyPerformance dates: Nov. 6, 2005-

What it’s about: In documentary style, Jersey Boys tracks the rise and fall of 1960s rock band the Four Seasons, from their formation and subsequent fame to their eventual break-up. With music by the group, the show covers high points and low points, with band members directly addressing the audience at key moments.Why it’s essential: The jukebox musical gets a bad name, and sometimes that’s warranted — as audiences yearn for more originality on Broadway, it can be disheartening to see shows with recycled music. But Jersey Boys perfected the form. Its structure and stellar performances make it the clear standout of the genre.

31. The Color Purple

The Color Purple

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Paul Kolnik

Book: Marsha NormanMusic and lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen BrayOriginal Broadway cast: LaChanze as Celie, Brandon Victor Dixon as Harpo, Felicia P. Fields as Sofia, Reneé Elise Goldsberry as Nettie, Kingsley Leggs as Mister, Krisha Marcano as Squeak, Elisabeth Withers-Mendes as Shug Avery, James Brown III as BobbyPerformance dates: Dec. 1, 2005-Feb. 24, 2008

What it’s about: Based on the novel of the same name by Alice Walker, The Color Purple follows sisters Celie and Nettie over the course of four decades in rural Georgia at the first half of the 20th century. Forcefully separated and kept apart, Celie and Nettie struggle to reunite and survive their circumstances.Why it’s essential: As when the novel The Color Purple was released in 1982, the themes of the musical remain timeless. The shocking depictions of racism and sexism perpetuated against the subjugated sisters are harrowing but necessary, and the overall experience is aided by a gorgeous score that made LaChanze a star.

30. Grey Gardens

Grey Gardens

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Joan Marcus

Book: Doug WrightMusic: Scott FrankelLyrics: Michael KorieOriginal Broadway cast: Christine Ebersole as ”Little” Edie Beale/Edith Bouvier Beale, Mary Louise Wilson as Edith Bouvier Beale, Matt Cavenaugh as Joseph Patrick Kennedy/Jerry, Jr., Erin Davie as Young “Little” Edie Beale, Kelsey Fowler as Lee Bouvier, Sarah Hyland as Jacqueline “Jackie” Bouvier, John McMartin as J.V. “Major” Bouvier/Norman Vincent Peale, Michael Potts as Brooks, Sr./Brooks, Jr., Bob Stillman as George Gould StrongPerformance dates: Nov. 2, 2006-July 29, 2007

What it’s about: The first act of Grey Gardens shows Little Edie and Big Edie when they were younger and rich, before their lives fell into disrepair. The second act is based on the classic documentary Grey Gardens, in which an older Little Edie and Big Edie live an isolated existence in a dilapidated mansion.Why it’s essential: Another musical based on a movie, Grey Gardens significantly expands on the 1975 documentary by offering an imagined glimpse at life for its protagonists before everything went to shit. It makes the more familiar second act all the more heart-rending, creating valuable context where once there was none.

29. Billy Elliot the Musical

Billy Elliot the Musical

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Joan Marcus

Book: Lee HallMusic: Elton JohnLyrics: Lee HallOriginal Broadway cast: David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish as Billy Elliot, Santino Fontana as Tony, Haydn Gwynne as Mrs. Wilkinson, Gregory Jbara as Dad, Carole Shelley as GrandmaPerformance dates: Nov. 13, 2008-Jan. 8, 2012

What it’s about: As in the 2000 film, Billy Elliot finds himself more drawn to ballet than to wrestling — against his father’s wishes. But Billy finds solace in dance and lessons from Mrs. Wilkinson, even as the world around him is in turmoil. The musical takes place during the U.K. coal miners’ strike that lasted from 1984 to 1985.Why it’s essential: Cute kids aren’t always what you want to see front and center in a musical, but the tremendous dancing by the young actors of Billy Elliot transcends any doubts even the most curmudgeonly audience members might have. And the show’s concerns about masculinity, which should be dated, are still contentious.

28. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

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Joan Marcus

Book: Alex TimbersMusic and lyrics: Michael FriedmanOriginal Broadway cast: Benjamin Walker as Andrew Jackson, Kristine Nielsen as The Storyteller, James Barry as Male Soloist, Darren Goldstein as Calhoun, Greg Hildreth as Red Eagle, Jeff Hiller as John Quincy Adams, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe as Van Buren, Cameron Ocasio as Lyncoya, Bryce Pinkham as Clay, Maria Elena Ramirez as Rachel, Ben Steinfeld as MonroePerformance dates: Oct. 13, 2010-Jan. 2, 2011

What it’s about: Part rock musical, part history, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is about the founding of the Democratic Party in 1828. The show covers the eponymous U.S. president’s life and work, in particular the rise of populism, the Indian Removal Act, and Jackson’s relationship with his wife Rachel.Why it’s essential: Like other rock musicals, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is relentlessly energetic, which only underscores the serious issues it addresses. Despite the fact that its politics are firmly rooted in the 1800s, they’re relevant to a modern-day populace, a stirring reminder that the more things change…

27. Newsies


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Deen van Meer

Book: Harvey FiersteinMusic: Alan MenkenLyrics: Jack FeldmanOriginal Broadway cast: John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Lewis Grosso and Matthew Schechter as Les, Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin, Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, Kara Lindsay as KatherinePerformance dates: March 29, 2012-

What it’s about: Based on the 1992 Disney film — and the true events that inspired it — Newsies is about the titular young men, largely orphaned and homeless, who hock newspapers on the street. When the price of papers is raised 10 cents by the greedy Joseph Pulitzer, Jack inspires his fellow newsies to protest.Why it’s essential: Say what you will about the Disney musical — Newsies shows what Disney gets right. The inspiring story and infectious music is as delightful here as it was in the original film, appealing to young audience members and the young at heart, like any good Disney production should.

26. Curtains


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Joan Marcus

Book: Rupert HolmesMusic: John KanderLyrics: Fred EbbOriginal Broadway cast: Debra Monk as Carmen Bernstein, David Hyde Pierce as Lieutenant Frank Cioffi, John Bolton as Daryl Grady, Jason Danieley as Aaron Fox, Edward Hibbert as Christopher Belling, Michael X. Martin as Johnny Harmon, Michael McCormick as Oscar Shapiro, Jill Paice as Niki Harris, Noah Racey as Bobby Pepper, Ernie Sabella as Sidney Bernstein, Megan Sikora as Bambi Bernét, Karen Ziemba as Georgia HendricksPerformance dates: March 22, 2007-June 29, 2008

What it’s about: In 1959 Boston, the untalented star of Robbin’ Hood of the Old West is murdered during the opening night curtain call. Enter Lieutenant Cioffi, who in addition to his detective skills is also a fan of musical theater. Cioffi has to solve the case and save the show, and he’s got a murderer on his tail.Why it’s essential: Curtains may not be up there with Chicago and Cabaret, Kander and Ebb’s most famous works, but it’s an engaging and hilarious mystery that perfectly satirizes a very specific genre, the backstage murder mystery. More than that, it’s also a love letter to classic musical theater.

25. The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County

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Joan Marcus

Book: Marsha NormanMusic and lyrics: Jason Robert BrownOriginal Broadway cast: Kelli O’Hara as Francesca, Steven Pasquale as Robert, Whitney Bashor as Marian, Hunter Foster as Bud, Caitlin Kinnunen as Carolyn, Derek Klena as Michael, Michael X. Martin as Charlie, Cass Morgan as MargePerformance dates: Feb. 20, 2014-May 18, 2014

What it’s about: In 1965, disaffected housewife Francesca contemplates her life in Iowa, far away from her home in Italy. With her husband and kids away at the State Fair, Francesca meets National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid, and the two embark on a passionate but short-lived affair that ends in heartbreak.Why it’s essential: The fact that The Bridges of Madison County didn’t earn a Tony nomination for Best Musical is a travesty, made all the more tragic because the show was forced to close early. It’s a beautiful, haunting show, with a rich score by Jason Robert Brown, and stunning performances by Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale.

24. Urinetown


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Joan Marcus

Book: Greg KotisMusic: Mark HollmannLyrics: Mark Hollmann and Greg KotisOriginal Broadway cast: Hunter Foster as Bobby Strong, Jennifer Laura Thompson as Hope Cladwell, Nancy Opel as Penelope Pennywise, John Cullum as Caldwell B. Cladwell, Spencer Kayden as Little Sally, Jeff McCarthy as Officer Lockstock, Daniel Marcus as Officer Barrel, John Deyle as Senator Fipp, David Beach as Mr. McQueenPerformance dates: Sep. 20, 2001-Jan. 18, 2004

What it’s about: In the dark world of Urinetown, a 20-year drought has made private toilets a thing of the past. Now all bathrooms are public and controlled by a megacorporation, which forces people to pay for the privilege of peeing. Charismatic Bobby Strong leads his fellow citizens in a revolution — with mixed results.Why it’s essential: Part of what makes Urinetown such a funny show is how unexpected it is. The musical repeatedly subverts expectations to darkly comedic effect, parodying far more serious works like Les Misérables and reminding audiences that not all musical comedy has a happy ending.

23. The Producers

The Producers

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Paul Kolnik

Book: Mel Brooks and Thomas MeehanMusic and lyrics: Mel BrooksOriginal Broadway cast: Matthew Broderick as Leo Bloom, Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock, Roger Bart as Carmen Ghia, Gary Beach as Roger De Bris, Cady Huffman as Ulla, Brad Oscar as Franz LiebkindPerformance dates: April 19, 2001-April 22, 2007

What it’s about: Adapted by Mel Brooks from his 1968 film, the titular producers are Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, who conspire to dupe investors by purposely making a Broadway flop. Their plan backfires when Springtime for Hitler, despite being an offensive disaster on paper, is celebrated as a hilarious comedy.Why it’s essential: Despite being based on a 30-year-old film, The Producers breathed new life into musical comedy. The book is sharp and relentlessly entertaining, but it’s also full of great musical numbers, “Springtime for Hitler” being the obvious standout. The Producers paved the way for more great shows like it.

22. Aida


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Joan Marcus

Book: Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry HwangMusic: Elton JohnLyrics: Tim RiceOriginal Broadway cast: Heather Headley as Aida, Adam Pascal as Radames, Sherie Rene Scott as Amneris, Tyrees Allen as Amonasro, John Hickok as Zoser, Daniel Oreskes as Pharaoh, Damian Perkins as MerebPerformance dates: March 23, 2000-Sep. 5, 2004

What it’s about: In this musical based on the Giuseppe Verdi opera, Radames, who is next in line to become Pharaoh, falls for a captured Nubian slave named Aida, who is secretly a princess. Their forbidden love is complicated by Radames’ intended bride Amneris and Aida’s true identity, culminating in a tragic ending to their affair.Why it’s essential: It’s hard to imagine that Aida was once intended to be adapted as a Disney film — the elements are still there (Elton John and Tim Rice), but it’s a heavy, depressing love story. In addition to its undeniable power, Aida is significant for the way it blurs the lines between musical and opera.

21. Passing Strange

Passing Strange

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Sundance Selects

Book: StewMusic: Stew and Heidi RodewaldLyrics: StewOriginal Broadway cast: De’Adre Aziza as Edwina/Marianna/Sudabey, Daniel Breaker as Youth, Eisa Davis as Mother, Colman Domingo as Franklin/Joop/Mr. Venus, Chad Goodridge as Terry/Christophe/Hugo, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Sherry/Renata/Desi, Stew as NarratorPerformance dates: Feb. 28, 2008-July 20, 2008

What it’s about: The unnamed Youth, a black man from South Central Los Angeles, rebels against his mother and his religious upbringing. He embarks on a journey to find “the real,” traveling across Europe and exploring different genres of music, including rock, jazz, gospel, and punk, in order to find himself.Why it’s essential: Like other great rock musicals, the thrill of Passing Strange is that its creator Stew had no theatrical background. The result is something truly original, informed not by other musicals but by Stew’s background as a rock ‘n’ roll performer. This is a rare reflection of a thoroughly unique new voice.

20. Fela!


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Tristram Kenton

Book: Jim Lewis and Bill T. JonesMusic and lyrics: Fela Anikulapo-KutiOriginal Broadway cast: Kevin Mambo and Sahr Ngaujah as Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Saycon Sengbloh as Sandra, Lillias White as Funmilayo, Ismael Kouyaté as African Chanter/Geraldo Piño/Braiman/Orisha, Gelan Lambert as J.K. Braiman/Tap Dancer/EgungunPerformance dates: Nov. 23, 2009-Jan. 2, 2011

What it’s about: In the ’70s, Fela Kuti was an influential performer and composer in Nigeria. The musical is based on real events, when government soldiers were assigned to end Fela’s public performances at the Shrine nightclub. Fela becomes involved with opposition, balancing his quest for fame and his desire for civil rights.Why it’s essential: Calling Fela! a jukebox musical feels misleading — yes, the music here comes from the work of the show’s subject, Fela Kuti. But the appeal of Fela! is in its breathless, colorful performances — so intensely physical that two actors played the eponymous musician and alternated performances.

19. The Wild Party

The Wild Party

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Carol Rosegg

Book: Michael John LaChiusa and George C. WolfeMusic and lyrics: Michael John LaChiusaOriginal Broadway cast: Yancey Arias as Black, Toni Collette as Queenie, Nathan Lee Graham as Phil D’Armano, Adam Grupper as Gold, Leah Hocking as Mae, Eartha Kitt as Dolores, Marc Kudisch as Jackie, Norm Lewis as Eddie Mackrel, Michael McElroy as Oscar D’Armano, Brooke Sunny Moriber as Nadine, Sally Murphy as Sally, Mandy Patinkin as Burrs, Tonya Pinkins as Kate, Jane Summerhays as Miss Madelaine True, Stuart Zagnit as GoldbergPerformance dates: April 13, 2000-June 11, 2000

What it’s about: Based on the 1928 narrative poem, The Wild Party is presented as a series of vaudeville sketches reflecting the setting, a swinging ’20s party hosted by Queenie and Burrs, whose relationship is collapsing. The eclectic cast of characters include a fading star, a black prizefighter, a morphine addict, and a gay couple.Why it’s essential: Timing for The Wild Party was a little odd — there’s another Wild Party musical, based on the same narrative poem, that emerged off-Broadway during the same season. Fans of both continue to debate which is better, but LaChiusa’s offers a richer cast of characters and steamy interactions.

18. Tick, Tick… Boom!

Tick, Tick... Boom!

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Carol Rosegg

Book Jonathan Larson and David AuburnMusic and lyrics: Jonathan LarsonOriginal off-Broadway cast: Raúl Esparza as Jon, Jerry Dixon as Michael, Amy Spanger as SusanPerformance dates: May 23, 2001-Jan. 6, 2002

What it’s about: In this autobiographical musical first conceived as a one-man show, Jon approaches his 30th birthday with anxiety over his failure to succeed as a composer. Meanwhile, he struggles with commitment to his girlfriend Susan, who wants a more stable life, and Jon’s best friend Michael learns that he’s HIV-positive.Why it’s essential: While not the instant classic that Rent was, Jonathan Larson’s other major work is a far more personal look at the struggles that led him to write the iconic 1994 musical. The knowledge that Larson died before he could see the extent of his success adds another level of melancholy to Tick, Tick… Boom!

17. In the Heights

In the Heights

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Joan Marcus

Book: Quiara Alegría HudesMusic and lyrics: Lin-Manuel MirandaOriginal Broadway cast: Seth Stewart as Graffiti Pete, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Usnavi, Eliseo Román as Piragua Guy, Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia, Janet Dacal as Carla, Andréa Burns as Daniela, Carlos Gomez as Kevin, Priscilla Lopez as Camila, Robin de Jesús as Sonny, Christopher Jackson as Benny, Karen Olivo as Vanessa, Mandy Gonzalez as NinaPerformance dates: March 9, 2008-Jan. 9, 2011

What it’s about: In the Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, Usnavi, the owner of a small bodega, narrates the events happening around him. The cast of characters include matriarch Abuela Claudia, Usnavi’s love interest Vanessa, recent Stanford drop-out Nina, and gringo Benny.Why it’s essential: Before In the Heights, musical theater hadn’t dived into the Dominican-American cultural experience. This is a story about people who don’t often see themselves represented on stage (or on film and TV, for that matter), and the music — rap and salsa — is long overdue for a Broadway presence.

16. Hairspray


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Paul Kolnik

Book: Mark O’Donnell and Thomas MeehanMusic: Marc ShaimanLyrics: Scott Wittman and Marc ShaimanOriginal Broadway cast: Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Marissa Jaret Winokur as Tracy Turnblad, Laura Bell Bundy as Amber Von Tussle, Kerry Butler as Penny Pingleton, Mary Bond Davis as Motormouth Maybelle, Linda Hart as Velma Von Tussle, Dick Latessa as Wilbur Turnblad, Matthew Morrison as Link Larkin, Corey Reynolds as Seaweed J. Stubbs, Clarke Thorell as Corny Collins, Danelle Eugenia Wilson as Little InezPerformance dates: Aug. 15, 2002-Jan. 4, 2009

What it’s about: As in the 1988 John Waters film, Hairspray is about Tracy Turnblad, an overweight teenager who dreams of dancing on The Corny Collins Show and win the heart of Link Larkin in 1962 Baltimore. When she does finally make it onto the show, she shakes things up by taking a stand for racial integration.Why it’s essential: John Waters on Broadway could have gone a lot of ways, but Hairspray is pretty darn wholesome — Pink Flamingos this is not. And yet, it’s just the right amount of edgy mixed with bubble-gum colors and tunes that evoke the best of ’60s pop music. Harvey Fierstein’s Edna remains one of his finest performances.

15. Here Lies Love

Here Lies Love

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Joan Marcus

Book: David ByrneMusic: David Byrne and Fatboy SlimLyrics: David ByrneOriginal off-Broadway cast: Melody Butiu as Estrella, Jose Llana as Marcos, Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda, Conrad Ricamora as Aquino, Kelvin Moon Loh as D. J.Performance dates: April 24, 2013-July 28, 2013 (but now running again)

What it’s about: What began as a concept album became a rock musical, detailing the life of Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines — from her early life, raised by Estrella Cumpas, to her career as a singer and model, and finally to the moment she and her family were forced to leave the country.Why it’s essential: Some of the best theatrical experiences are the oddest on paper. The parts of Here Lies Love are strange: It began as a concept album, it’s about Imelda Marcos, Fatboy Slim is involved. But it all comes together to create a breathtaking, immersive production helmed by the incomparable Alex Timbers.

14. Fun Home

Fun Home

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Joan Marcus

Book: Lisa KronMusic: Jeanine TesoriLyrics: Lisa KronOriginal off-Broadway cast: Beth Malone as Alison Bechdel, Michael Cerveris as Bruce Bechdel, Judy Kuhn as Helen Bechdel, Sydney Lucas as Small Alison, Alexandra Socha as Medium Alison, Griffin Birney as Christian Bechdel, Noah Hinsdale as John Bechdel, Roberta Colindrez as Joan, Joel Perez as Roy/Pete/Bobby JeremyPerformance dates: Oct. 22, 2013-Jan. 12, 2014

What it’s about: Based on Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novel, Fun Home explores Alison’s relationship with her father Bruce over the years. Presented in non-linear format, the show covers Alison’s discovery of her sexuality and coming out, as well as her father’s hidden sexuality and eventual suicide.Why it’s essential: Like the graphic novel on which it’s based, Fun Home is a heartbreaking musical. Even those who have criticized elements of the show acknowledge its impressive emotional core and the effect it has had on audiences. It was a highly personal story for Bechdel to share, and that intimacy remains.

13. The Drowsy Chaperone

The Drowsy Chaperone

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Joan Marcus

Book: Bob Martin and Don McKellarMusic and lyrics: Lisa Lambert and Greg MorrisonOriginal Broadway cast: Danny Burstein as Aldolpho, Georgia Engel as Mrs. Tottendale, Sutton Foster as Janet Van De Graaff, Edward Hibbert as Underling, Troy Britton Johnson as Robert Martin, Eddie Korbich as George, Jason Kravits as Gangster #1, Garth Kravits as Gangster #2, Beth Leavel as the Drowsy Chaperone, Kecia Lewis-Evans as Trix, Bob Martin as Man in Chair, Jennifer Smith as Kitty, Lenny Wolpe as FeldziegPerformance dates: May 1, 2006-Dec. 30, 2007

What it’s about: The Drowsy Chaperone is the name of the musical, but it’s also the musical within the musical. The Man in the Chair, a Broadway enthusiast, plays one of his favorite records, The Drowsy Chaperone, and relives the classic (fake) 1920s musical comedy, complete with a wedding and gangsters in disguise.Why it’s essential: There are plenty of other self-referential musicals out there, but there’s something truly special about The Drowsy Chaperone. The book is consistently clever, giving just enough insight into the agoraphobic Man in the Chair. The musical within the musical is both a perfect parody and delightful in its own right.

12. The Full Monty

The Full Monty

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Alastair Muir

Book: Terrence McNallyMusic and lyrics: David YazbekOriginal Broadway cast: Patrick Wilson as Jerry Lukowski, John Ellison Conlee as Dave Bukatinsky, Jason Danieley as Malcolm MacGregor, Romain Frugé as Ethan Girard, Annie Golden as Georgie Bukatinsky, Marcus Neville as Harold Nichols, Emily Skinner as Vicki Nichols, André De Shields as Horse, Lisa Datz as Pam Lukowski, Kathleen Freeman as Jeanette BurmeisterPerformance dates: Oct. 26, 2000-Sep. 1, 2002

What it’s about: The Full Monty is inspired by the 1997 film but Americanized — here, unemployed steelworkers in Buffalo decide to make money by performing a strip act. Because they’re not as in shape as the Chippendales dancers their wives love, they decide to distinguish themselves by ending with full nudity.Why it’s essential: It’s hard to believe that a musical about out-of-work (and out-of-shape) steelworkers who decide to become strippers would be as stirring and poignant as The Full Monty is. That’s not to take away from the fun of the show, which is a given, but the

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/best-musicals-since-2000


The movie within the movie.
By Kilian Eng.


By Rich Kelly.


By Laurent Durieux.


By Jay Ryan.
Wes Anderson’s best film, IMHO.


Very cool.
By Jock.

See all of the posters @ Mondo.
Via: Dangerous Minds.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/copyranter/austin-art-gallerys-cool-oscar-movie-posters

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

There’s a stereotype of the scene backstage at fashion shows: starving, underage models on a clandestine search for a mere blueberry to hold them over, hoping designers — who need them to fit into sample sizes — won’t notice. It’s not a flattering picture of the industry, which is why fashion industry leaders are actively trying to change it.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, an kind of de facto guild of the country’s top fashion designers, just announced that they’ve brokered a deal for models to secure healthy food for 50% off when they’re in New York for Fashion Week, which starts on February 7.

“Models have described the difficulty of finding food that is both nutritious and convenient during Fashion Week. Please keep this in mind for both backstage and fittings,” the CFDA wrote in a letter from its President, Diane Von Furstenberg and CEO, Steven Kolb. “To address this issue, we have partnered with Organic Avenue during Fashion Week and continuing through March 31, Organic Avenue will provide support and education to models in addition to a generously discounted rate of 50% on all cold-pressed juices and food. We hope that this will give models both guidance and the added nutrition they need during this demanding time!”

The deal won’t exactly have models scarfing down cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Organic Avenue’s limited menu includes offerings like Dandelion-Kale Salad and Crudite With Tahini. The chain, which has 9 locations in Manhattan, is also popular among fans of the juice cleanse. But at $9 to $12 for one small bottle of green juice, or $75 to $90 for a one day juice cleanse, it’s an expensive way to stay full, even with a half-off discount.

Particularly for the young models who will walk shows during New York. Though modeling can be wildly lucrative at the level of Gisele, young runway models have historically been lucky to get paid at all, with designers famously trying to compensate in clothes rather than cash. A recent documentary, Girl Model detailed the unglamorous lives of struggling young models, and a group of models have also started a group called the Model Alliance, a kind of union to protect up and coming models from being exploited or treated unfairly.

The CFDA letter also noted that designers need to check ID’s to make sure models are at least 16 years old and should also pay attention to child labor laws. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s also not new: the CFDA Health Initiative has been saying this since 2007.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/hillaryreinsberg/fashion-week-is-giving-models-food-for-half-off

It is no spoiler to say that, in this weekend’s Man of Steel, chaos and mass destruction are leading players, just as deserving of a spot on the marquee as Henry Cavill and Amy Adams. As the marketing material makes clear, the survivors of Krypton have little regard for our planet’s puny architecture, which they reduce to neat piles of shattered glass and twisted metal, like wood chips for their superhuman playground of death.

Quick, run to your nearest theater!

This is nothing new, of course; we’ve come to expect mass destruction in our summer movies, which allow us to envision from an air conditioned place of comfort the global meltdown we’ve been trained to expect by years of alarmist political rhetoric. It’s like a game of chicken; if one movie destroys half a city, the next one must one-up it and wreck the entire thing. With a huge number of gigantic blockbuster films out this summer, it’s worth examining just how much carnage we’re paying big money to see, and taking stock of all the urban zones that are being leveled on the big screen. Is your hometown being blown apart this year?!

3. Man of Steel: Metropolis

After Supes and Zod tear apart the main drag of Smallville — which is dotted with many businesses, all nameless aside for the 7-Eleven, Sears and IHOP — they take the action to the glimmering skyscrapers of Metropolis, which they promptly turn into gigantic piles of rubble.

4. Star Trek Into Darkness: San Francisco, London

First, CumberKHAN lays waste to the seat of the former British Empire, and later on, he helps demolish NoCal, too.

5. Iron Man 3: Los Angeles

Bad news for Tony Stark: your home and all your possessions are now waste at the bottom of a cliff. Good news: at least it took a bunch of missiles to get that done, so you really had a nice spread there for a while. The Chinese Theater in LA also got blown to pieces, which is pretty cool because the company that owns it paid for that to happen.

6. World War Z: Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, Rome, Newark, St. Louis, Houston, Jerusalem

Hordes of Brangelina-hating zombies flood the streets of the world’s major cities like the running of the brain-thirsty bulls. Even Israel, which was supposed to be all smart about preparing for such an invasion, gets roughed up. Maybe all those re-shoots were about upping the disaster factor?

7. This Is The End: Los Angeles

The whole world is experiencing the fiery wrath of the lord’s final judgment, but we only get to see the hell-bound sinkholes and flaming rain of Los Angeles. Of course, this is a comedy, so it’s all in good fun, but still, even our laughs are coming amid complete and utter disaster!

8. Pacific Rim: San Francisco, Manila, Dubai

A highly anticipated, mega-budget Transformers-versus-Godzilla epic from Guillermo Del Toro, this looks to be what we call smart sci-fi, a display of cataclysmic damage that really means something. The trailer itself name checks San Fran, Manila and Dubai as being crushed by these giant alien monsters, but it’s hard to believe that they’re going to limit their damage to those three cities.

9. Elysium: Basically Everywhere

Set in the year 2159, Earth is largely a wrecked, smoking graveyard for poor people, while the rich live in a giant spinning rim in space.

10. The World’s End: London

Technically, this was made in a small town outside London, but since it involves the apocalypse, we can safely assume the damage made its way to the big city too, right?

11. Honorable Mention


Fast and Furious 6 did some damage to London and really destroyed a long, elevated highway in Spain, so don’t forget that!

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/jordanzakarin/man-of-stee-destruction-14-major-world-cities

Kind of gives the term “chewing scenery” a whole new meaning.

1. Chef (2014)


Aldamisa Entertainment

Carl (Jon Favreau) is a chef at an upscale restaurant who feels stunted by the repetitive menu insisted upon by his boss. When he loses his temper and consequently his job, he gets back to his cooking roots making Cuban sandwiches in a food truck with his estranged son.

Most Delicious Scene: Carl’s seductive and simple pasta with pesto.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

2. The Lunchbox (2013)


Sikhya Entertainment

Young, neglected housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) in Mumbai sends an extra-special lunch to her husband via the city’s sprawling courier service in the hopes of rekindling the flame. When it is mistakenly delivered to a solitary widower (Irfan Khan), the two begin a sweet though deluded relationship.

Most Delicious Scene: The paneer, in all its iterations.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

3. Chocolat (2000)



Single mother Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter move to rural France and open a chocolaterie across the street from the local church. Their sweet indulgences and Sunday hours (gasp!) cause a moral uproar, unaided by the arrival of swarthy gypsy Roux (Johnny Depp). But really, how long can people hold out against chocolate?

Most Delicious Scene: Anytime a piece of chocolate passes Johnny Depp’s lips. UNF.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

4. Big Night (1996)


Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Brothers Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) are Italian emigrants who have opened a restaurant in New York. Primo is the sophisticated chef who will not bow to patrons’ pedestrian expectations of Italian fare; Secondo is the smooth-talking manager who just wants to run a good business. When they’re tapped for a special benefit concert, they attempt to compromise and pull out all the stops for their “big night.”

Most Delicious Scene: The unveiling of the timpano.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

5. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011)


Magnolia Pictures

This now-classic food documentary follows 85-year-old Jiro Ono, a world-renowned sushi chef completely devoted to his craft. Watching relentless pursuit of perfection is equal parts awe-inspiring, soul-crushing and totally mouthwatering.

Most Delicious Scene: Jiro sushi course “concerto.”

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

6. Babette’s Feast (1987)

MGM Home Entertainment

MGM Home Entertainment

Set in a remote 19th Danish century village, two sisters forlorn lead a strict life spent caring for their father, the local minister. Years after missed opportunities to move away and the death of their father, they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, as their servant. Babette repays the sisters for their kindness with a decadent French meal.

Most Delicious Scene: The feast, of course!

Where You Can Watch It: Hulu Plus.

7. Like Water For Chocolate (1992)



This movie is all about the passionate affair between Tita (Lumi Cavazos), a beauty from a traditional Mexican family who is forbidden to marry, and Pedro (Marco Leonardi), the young stallion who has stolen her heart. If that doesn’t get you, here’s the twist: Everything Tita cooks is infused with her emotions, causing powerful and not always pleasant reactions in all who consume it.

Most Delicious Scene: Tita’s quail in rose petal sauce.

Where You Can Watch It:

8. Waitress (2007)


Fox Searchlight Pictures

Jenna (Keri Russell) is a melancholy and pregnant waitress practicing the art of pie-making at her diner in the hopes of winning the local bake-off and earning enough money to leave her husband. All that changes when a cute new doctor comes to town, and the myriad pies become less a job for Jenna and more a form of therapy.

Most Delicious Scene: “Earl Murders Me Because I’m Having An Affair” Pie.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

9. Ratatouille (2007)


Walt Disney Pictures

Remy (Patton Oswalt) is a rat with a sophisticated palette. When he comes across the kitchen of a fantastic French restaurant, he teams up with the awkward garbage boy Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano) to bring both their cooking dreams to life. Hijinks ensue.

Most Delicious Scene: When Remy whips up his first soup.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

10. The Trip (2010)


IFC Films

Steve Coogan is asked to tour the finest restaurants of Northern England. When his girlfriend backs out, he invites his best frenemy and fellow comedian Rob Brydon instead. Get ready for incredible cuisine, beautiful countryside, and spot-on Michael Caine impressions.

Most Delicious Scene: Every time Rob orders the scallops.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

11. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)


The Samuel Goldwyn Company

This movie centers around the dinner table of a widowed, masterful Chinese chef and his three grown daughters in Taipai, Taiwan. Each heavenly Sunday meals brings a fresh clash between the modern, independent daughters and their traditional father.

Most Delicious Scene: The opening sequence. The precision! The steam! THE MEAT.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

12. Haute Cuisine (2012)


The Weinstein Company

Based on a true story, Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot) is a celebrated chef in small-town France who is suddenly tapped by the President of the Republic to be his personal cook. Though she faces mad shade from the mostly male kitchen staff and more attention from the president, Laborie finds power in her indisputably amazing cooking.

Most Delicious Scene: The president’s midnight tartine snack with black truffles.

Where You Can Watch It:

13. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)


Warner Bros Entertainment

A poor boy wins a chance to visit the most glorious chocolate factory ever imagined by mere human minds. Even the wallpaper tastes great! Dude who owns it is kind of strange, though.

Most Delicious Scene: THE CHOCOLATE ROOM.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

14. Romantics Anonymous (2010)



The French and their chocolate, amiright? It’s the cute story of the owner of a small chocolate factory and his new chocolatiere, both painfully timid but totally passionate about their work.

Most Delicious Scene: The chocolate tasting.

Where You Can Watch It:

15. Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs (2009)


Amblin Entertainment

Misfit scientist Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) has created a machine to turn water into food, which goes haywire when it starts converting the water in the atmosphere: It starts raining food! So basically all your childhood—ok, adulthood—dreams come true.

Most Delicious Scene: The ice cream storm!

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

16. Spinning Plates (2012)


Chaos Theory Entertainment

This delectable documentary follows three unique chefs, each serving very different in their own amazing way. From Michelin-rated to backyard BBQs, this movie explores how it doesn’t matter what or where you cook, just that you have a passion for food.

Most Delicious Scene: The twisted artistry of yuba, shrimp, orange, miso.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

17. I Am Love (2009)


Mikado Films

This film is about a Russian woman Emma (Tilda Swinton) who marries into a powerful Milanese family, though haute living leaves her feeling unfulfilled. Enter Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a talented chef who rewakens her passion for life with—what else?—food.

Most Delicious Scene: The prawns.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

18. Bottle Shock (2008)


Intellectual Properties Worldwide

Ok, it’s about the rise of respectability in California winemaking, but you need something to wash down all these food films! Parisian sommelier Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman) comes to Cali in 1976 to find the best wine to go head-to-head with its French counterparts in a blind taste test.

Most Delicious Scene: The Judgement of Paris.

Where You Can Watch It: Netflix.

19. Spirited Away (2001)


Walt Disney Studio

When young Chihiro and her family make a pitstop on their way to their new home in the Japanese countryside, they wander into an abandoned amusement park secretly ruled by demons and spirits. When her parents are turned into pigs, Chihiro must find a way to barter with the master of the spiritual bathhouse for all of their freedom.

Most Delicious Scene: When the spirit No-Face is all of us: “Just keep the food coming! I want to eat everything!”

Where You Can Watch It: You can buy it on Amazon.

20. Marie Antoinette (2006)


Columbia Pictures

A dramatic interpretation of the lavish lifestyle of Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It’s hard to tell what’s more delicious: all the scandal or all the cake. (JK it’s obviously the cake.)

Most Delicious Scene: So many balls, so many pastries.

Where You Can Watch It: Amazon.

21. Julie & Julia (2009)


Columbia PIctures

The drool-worthy retelling of one woman’s attempt to cook through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Start watching for the food, keep watching for Meryl Streep.

Most Delicious Scene: Boeuf bourguinion and raspberry Bavarian cream.

Where You Can Watch It: iTunes.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/laurenpaul/movies-all-food-enthusiast-must-watch

For 42 years, generations of daytime TV watchers — the ill and house-bound, the college students, the unemployed, the stay-at-home parents, the lucky so-and-sos who can watch TV at their job — have enjoyed countless hours watching The Price is Right. CBS’s perennial game show is a television institution, but it also still holds a host of nagging mysteries, like, where do all those cars come from, how do they determine the “actual retail price,” and what are the producers looking for in a contestant?

With the show’s 42nd season premiering this week — including an unprecedented all-Plinko episode on Friday — BuzzFeed spoke with executive producer Mike Richards about how he puts the show on the air every day. (For one thing, they shoot the show twice a day, Monday through Wednesday, three weeks out of every month, and they spend the rest of their time preparing each episode.)

Here is what we learned:

1. Contestants should be excited to be there, but they shouldn’t force it.

Cliff Lipson / CBS

One of the questions Richards says he gets most often is what qualities decide who gets to “come on down!” to be a contestant on the show. “The real answer is we’re looking for people that are being themselves, and not pretending to be more excited or more odd or whatever it is,” he says. “We’re looking for people who are authentically excited to be there, are naturally gregarious, are interested in having a good time, and who we think will enjoy the prizes that we’re giving away.”

Before loading into the Price is Right soundstage at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, audience producers interview each contestant, but they don’t have a great deal of time. “We have roughly 20 seconds with each person,” Richards says. “So are we able to really ascertain all that? No. We’re looking for any kind of cue that makes us think they’re going to like our prizes. Most people who come to the show like the types of things The Price is Right gives away.”

If it has seemed like contestants that arrive in a large group of people all wearing the same outfits have a better chance of getting on the show, Richards says that is only thanks to math. “If you come in a big group of 15 people all in the same shirt, just statistically, one of you is probably going to get chosen, just because there are 300 people in the audience, and we have to pick nine of them,” he says. “We almost have to pick you, because we need enough people to come down.”

2. They have the finding-contestants-in-the-audience thing down cold.

And when the contestants do come on down, the camera crew is remarkably quick in finding them in the audience. “We are expert Where’s Waldo players,” Richards says. “We’ve seen the pictures of [the contestants], and they each have numbers on them, so sometimes, that dictates where they’re sitting. And then we have a grid of the audience that we hand to the cameramen, so they know where they’re going.”

3. The show’s producers begin planning each episode months in advance, and they start at the end, with the showcases.

Monty Brinton / CBS

The reason is simple: The showcases should have the biggest prizes, and nothing else in the show should overshadow it. “You don’t want to repeat prizes that you’ve seen in the showcase,” says Richards. After the production team decides upon the showcase theme and main prizes, a lucky person called the “prize producer” begins to build out the rest of the show, planning each game and the prizes within that game. Which is perhaps not quite as fun as it sounds, since…

4. There are actually four subsets of prizes on The Price is Right. They are:

“One-bid” items

These are the items that open each of the show’s six main rounds, with the four contestants on the floor bidding on each prize to determine who gets to play the next game. “Those can [run] from $500 to $3,000,” says Richards. “And then we build in the rest of the prizes.”

Grocery items

These actually aren’t technically “prizes,” since contestants don’t actually win them. “They perform a function that you need to know the price of them to win the big prizes,” says Richards. “That’s all set up by a game producer who literally goes, ‘Hey, we want to put the peas here because they’re 69 cents, and this is how the game will play.’ We are good at knowing, ‘This will be hard to price; this will be easy to price,’ that kind of thing.”

Secondary prizes

These are items that contestants can win, but like the grocery items, they serve as a stepping stone to the major prize. “We want things that are varied, we want things that are cool, and we want things that people are going to know the price of,” Richards says. They typically run less than $100.

Major prizes

At last! These are the goals for the end of each game, but often the game itself can determine what this prize will be. “If it’s a car game, you’re going to put up a car, but if not, you’re going to put something else up,” says Richards.

5. And if that wasn’t complicated enough, there are over 70 games to choose from, and more new ones in the planning stages.

Sonja Flemming / CBS

The most popular games — like Plinko and Cliff Hangers — get cycled in roughly every two weeks. “The magic of Price is… if you watch the show four out of five days, and you missed those six games, you could go a month and never see them again,” says Richards. “It’s part of the genius of what I think this format is, which is, even though you know the games, you still get a treat when you see them. It’s really easy, even as a die-hard Price fan, to miss Plinko and not see it for two months because you just happened to miss that day, or that half hour.”

6. Speaking of Plinko, there are only 10 — yes, 10 — Plinko chips in existence (five for the show, and five as backup).

Cliff Lipson / CBS

Monty Brinton / CBS


“They’re enormously expensive to make,” says Richards. “They’re weighted exactly the same and made exactly the same, so they ‘plink.’ They came out on a towel, and they’re put into little boxes and very protected. They’ve been around for a long time because you don’t want to change them.”

7. The “actual retail price” comes from actual retailers — and the same retailers each time.

To keep the price continuity uniform throughout the show, the producers get the retail prices from the same group of retailers, largely based in California. “We’re not shopping in Alabama for peas one day, then Florida, then Maine, then Nevada,” says Richards.

8. At least deciding which cars to showcase is easy, because at any time, The Price is Right has between 37 and 45 cars on the CBS Television City lot.

Sonja Flemming / CBS

Sonja Flemming / CBS


Why so many? “We do six shows a week, and each episode, for the most part, has three cars in it,” say Richards. “So we’re through 18 cars in a week. And then the next week, I don’t want to see the same car, and I don’t think our viewers do either. So then you’ve got to have a whole other set of cars. And then rotate out the ones you saw before, so they don’t see them again.”

That is just a mere fraction of how many prizes are at Richards’ disposal, however. “It’s insane,” he says. “Each show has, like, 30 prizes in it. That doesn’t include the under-$100 prizes or the grocery items. Just the pure volume, when you do 190 episodes, if you saw the amount of things that go through there TV-wise, motorcycle-wise, computer-wise… We call it ‘The Firehose of Prizes.’” And that hose draws from three separate warehouses on the CBS Television City lot. Richards says that essentially, “It’s a Walmart!”

9. And yet, many of the prizes on the show are not what the contestants take home, especially the cars.

“If someone wins [a car] and they’re from Alabama, they don’t want to have to drive that car to Alabama, and they don’t get the car that day anyway,” Richards explains. “We’ll set it up with a dealership near their house and set up us buying the car and then coming to pick it up in their hometown.” After they appear on the show, the cars go back to the dealer that supplied them to be purchased by someone who likely will never know their car was once showcased on The Price is Right. “I always think it would be fun to go, ‘As see on The Price is Right,’” says Richards with a laugh. “If I bought it, I would go, ‘Hey, that’s cool! That was on the show.’ I’d get the license plate frame and everything.”

10. You have to wait a long time to claim your prizes.

Greg Gayne / CBS

The show’s prize department doesn’t even start working with the contestants to get them their prizes until after the show has aired. That can be a long wait: The all-Plinko episode that airs this Friday, Sept. 27, taped three months ago, on June 26.

“We want it to be a surprise even in their community,” says Richards. “We want [contestants] to say that they went to a taping, and a lot of times people will say, ‘I was on it.’ But we don’t want them to give away what happened, because that takes away some of the fun of watching a game show. So we don’t want a brand new car with a Price is Right license plate frame sitting in the front yard a month before the show airs, because it kind of gives it away.”

11. Don’t expect to get the cash value of your prize if you win — you either claim your prize, or decline it.


“We want to give you the prize that you won, not just the cash,” says Richards. So even if a contestant who lives in Oklahoma not near any large lakes ends up winning a boat, the producers will “strongly encourage” the contestant to take the boat. “We’re in the business of giving things away,” he says. “There’s usually someone in your family who does live near the water, or a way to sell it — something that you could do that would benefit you greatly. I’ve never won anything, but I would imagine it’s a nice thing to have happen.”

Wait. The executive producer of the most popular game show on daytime TV has never actually won a prize? “Never. I have not.” But Richards, who’s 37, did sit in the Price is Right audience well before he took over running the show. “I remember going home and going, ‘Why are my hands sore?’ It was from clapping. I was exhausted and my voice was hoarse. I was like, ‘That’s the most insane thing I’ve ever been through in my life.’” And from the look on his face, he could not have been happier.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/adambvary/price-is-right-things-youve-always-wanted-to-know

Josh Hutcherson as Peeta; Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Murray Close/Lionsgate

Nina Jacobson’s mother wandered into her daughter’s office while we were talking about The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which Jacobson produced. It was a surprise visit.

“This is my mom,” said Jacobson. “What are you doing here?”

Jacobson’s mom, Sandy, said: “Sweater sale. Can I listen for a little while?” (There is a sweater store, apparently, downstairs from the Santa Monica office of Color Force, Jacobson’s production company.)

“No! Go on!”

Jacobson’s mom left; they would see each other that night at the Los Angeles premiere of Catching Fire and travel together to New York the next day for another premiere. It had already been an interesting domestic morning: Jacobson’s family hamster — she and her wife have three children — had bitten her finger the night before, and when Jacobson woke up, the finger was clearly infected. She had gone to the doctor, and therefore was running late. The hamster was not rabid, luckily, but Jacobson was told to keep her finger elevated as if she was pointing at the sky. (She did not obey this doctor’s order.)

Jacobson was for years a studio executive, most notably at the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group, where she oversaw Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sixth Sense, The Princess Diaries, and zillions more. After her 2006 ouster from Disney — she was fired, infamously, when she was still at the hospital after her third kid was born — she founded Color Force.

The company’s first successes were the Wimpy Kid movies. But it is Jacobson’s acquisition of Suzanne Collins’ dystopian, political Hunger Games trilogy that has proven to be massive: Variety estimates that Catching Fire could make $300 million worldwide in its opening weekend. There will be two more movies; Mockingjay, the third book in the trilogy, is being split into two, and will be released in November 2014 and November 2015. (They are shooting the movies now, but took a month off to promote Catching Fire.)

Jacobson and I talked about her duties as a producer, what happened when director Gary Ross left the project, why (the divisive) Mockingjay will be two movies, the sneakily radical politics of the books and the films, and Jennifer Lawrence.

There are obviously all sorts of producers. What’s your role on these movies?

Nina Jacobson: I’m just there with them all the time. Suzanne Collins, it was such a big thing for me to make the handshake with her and to say, “You can trust me. I will not screw up your books. And I won’t let them be diluted and softened. And I won’t let them be exploited and made guilty of the sins that are being commented on in the books.” I take that really seriously. And that manifests in a lot of little moments, little details that add up. And you don’t know when those details will come up, so you kind of have to be there all the time.

Where does the process begin?

NJ: I’m super involved in the development of the screenplays. I feel in many respects that’s the most important thing I can do, is to make sure that we adapt them well. And Suzanne is very involved in the adaptation of the screenplays, and that’s what we want, is to have her compass. And then on set, I’m there. I’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had two really talented directors. You mostly let them do what they do, and let them do it well. And then when there’s a conversation that they want to have, or you want to have, you have it. Through post[production], I always give them their space in the editing room for the period that they’re cutting so they have someone to react to their first take. Like in Newsroom, what do they call that, the Red Team?

Wait, we’re referring to The Newsroom now?

NJ: It’s bad, I know. I just had never heard that before.

The Red Team being the ones that are kept in the dark so they can have a fresh reaction.

NJ: I try to do that in post. Stay out. Because it’s easy to get to a place where you’re just seeing scenes and you’re not seeing the movie. Once I get in there, we’re all along for the ride until we’re done.

Nina Jacobson at the world premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in London. Luke Macgregor / Reuters

Things for Catching Fire ramped up quickly after Hunger Games was released and became instantly huge.

NJ: Um. Yeah.

You obviously had things ready to go anticipating success. But how far along was it?

NJ: We were in the throes of releasing one movie and mounting another movie and found ourselves making a big sea change four months out. So that was my focus.

You’re talking about when Gary Ross, who directed and co-wrote the first movie, left the franchise. Was he supposed to write Catching Fire, too?

NJ: So Gary and Simon Beaufoy were supposed to collaborate. Simon was sort of working with Gary, but Gary was focused on finishing the first movie. And I think hadn’t quite had the time to crack the second movie in his head. So Simon was writing, but he wasn’t writing with a vision of a filmmaker driving it.

And so when Gary was no longer going to be directing the movie, we woke up and found ourselves going, We have four months to go and we have a great book. I went out and met directors. I connected to Francis Lawrence right away. He had an extraordinarily good reputation, probably more than anybody I’ve ever checked out. When we met, I loved what he had to say about the material. The idea for Suzanne of these books is that they are about the effects of war, and the consequences of war. And Francis was really attracted to how damaged everybody in this book is. I felt like based on how articulated his vision was, we could start prepping off the book.

So then we hired Michael Arndt, who’s an incredibly accomplished, smart, and fast writer. He and Suzanne and Francis really gelled. So we hunkered down to turn all of that brainpower into a script. And to catch up very quickly, thankfully.

Francis Lawrence. Murray Close/Lionsgate

What were the key things from the book to have in this movie?

NJ: For one, it’s the colorful movie. It’s the one where you’re going to spend more time in the Capitol; it’s Rome before the fall, it’s Berlin before the end. But also putting the relationships first. We identified early on the idea of allies, enemies, friends. Every scene had to be about those philosophical stakes. And then allowing the love triangle to breathe in this movie. Because as you know from the books, this is the movie where there’s time to explore her differing feelings about each man. And have time with them to see what each guy represents.

In the post-Twilight age, lots of movies have tried to do the young adult franchise thing. Hunger Games is the only real success. Have you been interested to watch those other movies, like Beautiful Creatures and The Mortal Instruments, die horrible deaths?

NJ: I have a theory about it, which is that I don’t think Hunger Games is a young adult book. I think it’s a book that has young adult protagonists. And I think that’s true of Harry Potter too; I think it’s true of Twilight as well. They’re called young adult books because it’s a marketing segment, it’s a niche. It’s where they begin their journey. But I think the ones that have worked cinematically, they’re not actually young adult books, they play one on TV.

Do you want to predict what will happen with Divergent?

NJ: No! I don’t want to predict. Because I don’t know, honestly. I’ve only read the first one, so I don’t know where it all goes.

Liam Hemsworth as Gale — in peril, like always. Murray Close/Lionsgate

The thing about Hunger Games that’s been endlessly discussed is the violent premise: children killing other children. Was the movie shooting when Sandy Hook happened?

NJ: Yes, we were shooting. To me, it was one of those things that just ruins you. I could think of nothing else. I found it so devastating and crushing. These books, what I find so successful about what Suzanne has done, and what the movies aspire to: They’re about the consequences of violence. They’re about how ruined we are by it. These characters, they don’t shake it off. They are carrying the scars of it. It’s the thing that so impressed me about what Suzanne has done: she’s written books that are commenting on violence and just how devastating the effects of it are and never, ever minimizing it.

I want to talk a little about Jennifer Lawrence. She’s won an Oscar, of course, since Hunger Games. How is she different now from when you first met her?

NJ: She is a girl whose parents have raised her right. She’s a really normal, decent, goofy person. She was normal, decent, and goofy before she had her Oscar; she is normal, decent, and goofy now.

You oversaw Disney during both the rise of Lindsay Lohan and the rise of Anne Hathaway. Now there’s Jennifer Lawrence. What’s it like to have an important role in sending someone into the adult world like that?

NJ: You have proud mom-ish feelings. Or in some cases, scared mom-ish feelings.

Has the film business had to adapt to how much the gossip business has evolved? In other words, could someone now act on film sets like Lindsay Lohan acted then without TMZ being all up in them?

NJ: No, I don’t think they could. It’s one of the things I’ve really noticed about this cast: They know that people are watching. I love the fact that Jen is so vocal about the body image stuff. She knows she’s being watched and scrutinized. If you sit around talking about this diet and that diet, then all these people are going to look to you like you must really have the answers. They’re very mindful, all of them. During the early Lindsay days, there were tabloids, but there wasn’t internet. And there’s no comparison.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss. Murray Close/Lionsgate

In the social age, fans also get very involved in speaking out about casting.

NJ: Early on, Deb Zane, who I think has cast these movies so well, said, “Just keep your head down.” Because she’d done Twilight too. “Just cast the people you think are the best people and pretend it’s not happening.” What I ended up feeling is after all the sturm and drang is it’s really the fans telling you: Don’t fuck it up! Don’t screw up this book that I love!

With the movies’ popularity, I understand why products would latch on. But I do wonder sometimes whether the people behind the promotional tie-ins know what the movie is about. On Saturday, I was at the CVS and over the speakers they announced a Hunger Games: Catching Fire makeup special that will give you the “District 12 coalmining look.” I almost fell over. You were a semiotics major at Brown. What are your thoughts on that?

NJ: Well, I haven’t seen that one! The CoverGirl stuff is the meta campaign.

Very meta.

NJ: Very meta! As a movie, we always try to be on the side of the Districts in our storytelling. But let’s not let ourselves off the hook: We all have plenty of Capitol in us. So the meta campaign of the CoverGirl stuff and the Capitol Couture stuff — I think it’s great, actually. I think it’s a way to be mindful of our own culpability. But I hadn’t heard of that one specifically; that one freaks me out.

Here’s another deliberately naïve question. Harry Potter started the splitting-the-last-book thing. Then Breaking Dawn did it. Now Mockingjay will too. Does everything have to be about making the most profit all the time?

NJ: If Suzanne hadn’t been on board, I wouldn’t have been on board. Every book when we’ve adapted it we’ve had to lose some things in order to get inside the story and keep the momentum going. Characters fall by the wayside. So here, once you start moving beyond Katniss’ point of view in order to tell the story of a country in a full-scale revolution resulting from what begins as a propaganda war, we needed time and scope to do it. It would have been either one really long and expensive movie or two manageable movies in which the growing resistance turning into revolution can be told and the full-scale war can be told. We were never going to be able to do all that in the course of one movie without accelerating through a lot of the context. Which I think is one of the privileges of doing it as a movie: In the book, she doesn’t know anything that’s going on out there other than what she’s told. As a movie, we get to see a lot more than that.

The politics of the books: Katniss is basically a poor white person from Appalachia who starts a revolution where the poor people overthrow a government. How has that premise become a blockbuster movie?

NJ: My daughter and I have this thing we call a PMA: “perfect moment alert.” I try to really notice when we’re having a PMA. It means so much to me that these books are so political, and that you could have something that’s so popular but that also really means something and really speaks to our times. And what is wrong with us on so many levels. Whether it’s our obsession with celebrity or our casual relationship to violence. The growing gap between rich and poor. And the degree to which all of the bread and circus stuff distracts us from the very real work we have to do socially to be better. I worry, like, when will I ever get a chance to work on something that manages to be both so beloved and popular and so genuinely meaningful?

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/kateaurthur/hunger-games-catching-fire-nina-jacobson-jennifer-lawrence

Average evening in our apartment:

One of us: I want to go see a movie but I can’t deal with the outside world. I just came dangerously close to committing manslaughter.

The other: Jesus.

One: How do you turn on the TV? This remote is like a goddamn rubik’s cube.

The other: Were you always like this?


The other: Here, just pick a movie to watch on demand.

One: Those movies are OUT? Wait, I just saw that trailer on BuzzFeed. There’s tons of nudity and the actors learned SWEDISH. It’s on TV already? But how?! This is wonderful news. How do you press play?

This conversation is happening right now in living rooms across the nation. Movie-loving people are discovering that somehow, while we were complaining about high ticket/candy/parking/babysitter prices, the cineplex crept into our homes, giving us more selection, for less money. We decide what time to watch, and what to eat while doing so. Best of all, we can’t get arrested for indecent exposure. Naked breakfast showing of Lovelace? Don’t mind if I do.

So why is there still a collective skepticism when it comes to films released on VOD and iTunes before a theatrical run?

There is no shortage of evidence outlining the benefits of this model, both as a profitable marketing campaign, and way to bring less commercial (better) films to everywhere between New York and Los Angeles. An Entertainment Weekly article from August 2012 says that, “Not only does VOD service over-busy cinephiles, it finally allows heartland audiences that have historically been underserved with independent film a chance to be the first to see the buzziest festival movies.”

And yet, despite the evidence that this is a positive shift, we the people still hang onto the negative stigma of the dreaded straight-to-DVD punishment of the past.

I have received several of the following texts in slightly different wording: “Heyyyy I saw BUTTER and it was so gooood! Why did go straight to TV?? (sad face, head-scratching emoji).” I hold back from responding that in fact it did go to theaters, but probably made four cents because it was up against some ginormous 3D blockbuster guaranteed to induce epilepsy. Whereas on Netflix, millions of people have had the chance to see me strip and carve The Scarlet Letter out of, yes, butter.

It is understandable that change comes with the requisite amount of resistance, but when will we stop turning our noses up at this new way method of distribution, as it directly benefits the consumer?

Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson in Drinking Buddies Magnolia Pictures

For instance, our new film, Drinking Buddies — a simple story of ambiguously romantic friendships — has been released by Magnolia on VOD a month before a limited theatrical run. This means it can be enjoyed in whatever way you please: on your iPad under your desk at school; on your phone under the covers; or probably on your wrist watch, for all I know about technology. In my completely subjective opinion, it is a film best enjoyed with friends, and possibly beer, but the fabulous fact is that it is entirely up to you to decide how it is best, or most conveniently, ingested.

The point is, people will have the opportunity to see it, which wouldn’t be the case if it were competing with summer tent poles at the multiplex. With this new model, Drinking Buddies can be seen by our friends in Kansas who otherwise would only hear about it long after its release.

There is also the compelling argument that this will allow for better films to be made. If the industry embraces this new model, distributors can buy riskier films, without having to worry about an expensive theatrical marketing campaign for a limited release. That means better stuff gets produced, and, so long as we reject the assumption that small-screen premiere equals failure, we can just sit back and press play.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/oliviawilde/olivia-wilde-on-video-on-demand