News & Opinion

News about Atlanta issues, arts, events, and more

Meet Millie DeChirico, Queen of the TCM Underground

Fans of TCM Underground, the Atlanta-based classic film network's weekly late-night Friday foray into cult film, can thank/blame iconic director Stanley Kubrick for jolting Millie DeChirico into her current job. For the past six years, the Georgia State film major graduate has hand-selected each film broadcast on TCM Underground. Her life-long interest in cult classics can be traced to an accidental early exposure to one of Kubrick's most disturbing films.

Who’s surprised by Herman Cain’s rise in the polls? Herman Cain.

It's official. Or at least as official as four polls can be. Herman Cain, Atlanta's very own pizza CEO/lobbyist/singer/talk radio host has risen from joke candidate to front-runner for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination in about two months. The RealClearPolitics.com average of polls now has Cain at 25 percent and Mitt Romney at 24.3 percent. In distant third place and fading fast is Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose hyped candidacy has yet to recover from Perry's severe inability to hide from the public what a terrible candidate he is.

Cain leads poll in S.C.

We're going to go ahead and theorize that like the rest of us, dieting makes former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield a scant bit cranky. Spies tell us the calorie-counting cruiserweight ordered the Market Salad this week during a visit to Spice Market inside the Midtown W hotel.

Oprah double dips, Bob’s back and “Rudolph” returns!

After a long day spent introducing Atlantans to her "O You!" tour/brandwashing campaign last weekend with her devoted friends/employees at the Georgia World Congress Center downtown, Oprah Winfrey must have been positively famished. Winfrey was spotted breezing through the front doors of the Intercontinental hotel Saturday night with OWN TV buds Gayle King and Nate Berkus as they congratulated the talk show queen's former personal chef Art Smith at his brand-new namesake restaurant Southern Art (we hear Oprah openly avoided the usual sneaky celeb backdoor entrance and exit approach and had only one member of her security team with her). FOO [Friend of Oprah] and Atlanta film and television studio mogul Tyler Perry later joined Winfrey and King for a private dinner around 9 p.m. at Canoe. We're told Lady O ordered a well-deserved vodka and soda with just a splash of cranberry and enjoyed the beet salad and a single fried green tomato. King, meanwhile, sampled the kitchen's African squash soup and artisan cheese salad.

Zooey Deschanel reflects on She & Him’s impromptu pool party at Atlanta Botanical Garden

It was without a doubt one of the more bizarre incidents to ever occur during a Concerts in the Garden performance at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. And no, we're not referring to the time British songstress Joan Armatrading attempted to silence the chorus of bullfrogs annoying her in the Midtown tourist attraction's reflecting pool. But the small body of water running in front of the Great Lawn did play a role in the venue's now-infamous altercation in the summer of 2010 during a sold-out show with acoustic duo She & Him. The act consists of folk performer M. Ward and indie actress Zooey Deschanel, the star of this season's breakout Fox hit sitcom,"New Girl." In addition to gracing this week's cover of TV Guide, Deschanel went on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" Friday night to promote the show and to discuss the duo's brand-new holiday album, "A Very She & Him Christmas" due in stores Oct. 24.

The wait for Jason White ends as he brings “The Longing” to Eddie’s Attic

Sometimes, it can take a lottery winner a minute to process what's happened to him. In 2001, Nashville singer-songwriter Jason White released a critically acclaimed debut album, "Shades of Gray." After reps for Tim McGraw got an earful of White's song, "Red Rag Top" off the album, the country superstar recorded a hit cover of the tune. Wheelbarrows of cash and songwriting opportunities were pushed in front of White. But after a 2003 follow up, "Tonight's Top Story," White disappeared from the New Releases buzz bin, along with MTV's Buzz Bin and most bricks and mortar record shops for that matter. Forty seven Lady Gaga singles and 137 asymmetrical haircut-laden Lady Antebellum videos later, White is back with an excellent third album, "The Longing" and an appearance in the round Saturday night at Eddie's Attic in Decatur.

Will Turpin’s power pop shines on “The Lighthouse,” “SATC”‘s Berger grabs some eggs

It's probably best that Collective Soul bassist Will Turpin's new solo EP, "The Lighthouse" is only available in audio form. Otherwise, the five instantly addictive tracks on the project (the EP hit iTunes Tuesday) would likely require a doctor's prescription. Playing piano and singing lead vocals, Turpin will debut tunes from "The Lighthouse" Thursday night at Drinkshop Live at the downtown W on Ivan Allen Boulevard. "It's just one of those innate feelings that you have," explains the life-long Beatles fan on how you go about writing a catchy melodic pop song. "When I was taking piano lessons at eight years old, my earliest music teachers kept telling me to quit using my ear. Their goal was to teach me to read music in a traditional way. But after I learned a piece of music, I was always using my ear to modify things. If it feels good to me, that's a good starting place for how a listener might respond to something I write. I'm all about melody. Somebody asked me the other day on a TV show what 'The Lighthouse' sounds like and I said, 'mega sweet, power pop candy.'" Turpin laughs and adds: "I'm not really good at describing music. But I don't think that my style on this EP is something that most people would be able to predict. Hopefully, that's a good thing!"

Out on Film concludes with juror selections, sold out “Judas Kiss” screening

The city's 24th annual LGBT film festival concluded Thursday night with a sold-out screening of "Judas Kiss," director J.T. Tepnapa's provocative venture into magical realism. The 2011 Out on Film Juror Awards were also announced at the festival's closing screening. Festival director Jim Farmer was kind enough to email the list to us before turning off his phone and getting some much deserved shut eye:

Jane Fonda hosts a groovy G-CAPP “love in” fundraiser at the Woodruff Arts Center

When the live auction bidding temporarily stalled at the Atlanta premiere of Jane Fonda's new film, "Peace, Love & Misunderstanding" at Symphony Hall Tuesday night, the two-time Oscar winner and Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention founder took to the microphone herself. On the auction block at the G-CAPP fundraiser: A five-day stay at Fonda's ex-hubby Ted Turner's 100,000-plus acre Flying D Ranch in Montana. "I know a lot about this one!" cracked Fonda as the crowd roared. "Visiting this ranch is like visiting Africa. It's bigger than metro Los Angeles. Oh, and it's got a beautiful guest house that I decorated!" The trip ended up fetching $14,500. The CNN founder's name also popped up when Fonda helped to auction off a 2012 trip to the Grammys, complete with an introduction to the now-Los Angeles resident's personal hairstylist and a hike with the Hollywood icon up to the Hollywood sign. "But it's not a bad hike," Fonda explained. "Ted would do it!" The trip went for $18,000.

Seth Rogen, Will Reiser discuss their new autobiographical cancer comedy “50/50”

"50/50" screenwriter Will Reiser didn't have to look far for the inspiration for the new big screen comedy/drama co-produced by his pal Seth Rogen. The film, now in theaters, stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, a Seattle public radio producer who is diagnosed with a "neurofibroma-sarcoma-schwannoma." Roughly translated, Adam has a cancerous tumor the size of a small Buick nestled against his spinal column. It's a scenario that Rogen, who plays Adam's best pal Kyle in the film, and Reiser dealt with in real life while working on HBO's "Da Ali G Show" when Reiser was handed a very similar diagnosis.

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