Sex, drugs, rock and roll — and ultra-Orthodox Judaism. What else could you expect from an essay written by Matisyahu?
“Akeda, the Binding and Unbinding…the Long Walk Back,” published in Medium, tells the moving tale of the formerly Hasidic singer/songwriter’s journey to overcome substance abuse, his religious struggle, his Bob Marley obsession, and more.
But the best line in the entire text comes when he tries to describe a niggun, or Hasidic melody, in layman’s terms.
I was dedicating myself to the cause. I moved to Crown Heights and gave up on the world. Happiness would need to come from within. I prayed and studied and prayed and studied and mikva’d and drank vodka, and ate chicken and drank vodka and sang niggunim (Chassidic melodies that sound similar to the scene in Star Wars when the bad guy’s ship is arriving). I wore the uniform (black and white just like the ideology). I believed there was something wrong with me that needed to be eradicated. That wrongness inside could be purified if I just tried hard enough.
Attention, “Star Wars” fans!
For the low, low price of a $10 donation, you run the chance of appearing in Star Wars Episode VII. In a message recorded on set in Abu Dhabi, director J.J. Abrams announced a new charity campaign run by Disney, Lucasfilm, and his own production company, Bad Robot.
Star Wars: Force for Change, asks people to donate $10 or more to UNICEF. In return, you get to dream about hanging with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
As seen in The Verge:
The randomly chosen winner of the grand prize and one partner will be flown to Episode VII’s Pinewood Studios set as guests of J. J. Abrams. There, they’ll be “transformed” by costume and makeup teams, before being given roles in the next Star Wars movie. It’s unclear what those roles will entail — Episode VII’s story is so well-protected Bothan spies are yet to reach it — but the opportunity to put on a furry mask, hang around in the back of a shot, inspire the invention of an alien race of wolf-people or bobble-headed oddballs, and eventually have books written about you is enticing.
The more you shell out, the higher your chances. Get those wallets out.
You’ve agonized over whether or not they would bring back the original three, you’ve sweated over J.J. Abrams’ potential conflict of interest (“Star Trek” and “Star Wars”? Never the twain should meet), you’ve debated whether there should even be a sequel at all — and now, the wait is over!
The cast of the Star Wars: Episode VII is official: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are all coming back, as previously hinted in various reports. They’ll be joined by Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.
“We are so excited to finally share the cast of ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again,” Abrams said in a statement. “We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”
Fans of Harrison Ford (myself included — Indiana Jones-themed bat mitzvah. No shame.) can do a happy dance. According to Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming, Ford, 71, will have a “gigantic role” in “Episode VII.”
What if Tatooine were a warped version of 1960s suburban California, Aunt Beru was Mrs. Robinson, and Luke Skywalker just a blonder Benjamin Braddock?
Replace John Williams’s Darth Vader theme with Simon and Garfunkle, and my guess is, it would look something like this. Enjoy your trip to Scarborough Fair. Via land speeder, that is.
Will they? Won’t they? Speculation abounds about which of the original Star Wars cast will make the jump to the upcoming sequel.
Carrie Fisher made our hearts soar like the Millenium Falcon when she sat down with Palm Beach Illustrated and answered a point blank “Yes” when asked whether or not she was coming back as Princess Leia in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming take on the classic.
The new Princess Leia would be “elderly,” Fisher said . “She’s in an intergalactic old folks home.” With her bagel buns and gold bikini safely on hand, we hope.
As it turns out, she may have been joking. Joking. Why Carrie, why?
Jerking us around like this may come back to haunt J.J. Abrams if Episode VII doesn’t live up to expectations. Which it can’t.
The much less devious Harrison Ford is supposedly “open” and “upbeat” about the idea of dusting off his Han Solo vest. According to Ford, Solo was scripted to die in xReturn of the Jedix, but lives on because his character was one of the most popular action figures at the time.
In the meantime, Ford will be trading in space gear for a news desk as he appears in Anchorman 2 as a veteran newscaster, a role similar to the one he played in 2010’s Morning Glory, ironically also produced by J.J. Abrams.
Mark Hammill, also rumored to come back as Luke Skywalker, told Entertainment Tonight that he hopes the new installment will be more like the originals than the heresy (our words) that are the recent prequels. We feel you Mark. Please, please, no Jar Jar Binks this time.
Carrie Fisher and William Shatner have taken their gloves off, duking it out in YouTube videos over which is better: Star Wars or Star Trek.
They poke as much fun at each other’s having aged over the years as they do at the relative merits of their respective legendary productions. Fisher, looking svelt but wearing a way-too-low-cut top, challenges the perennially young-looking Shatner to a “costume-off.” She makes fun of Shatner’s clingy Captain Kirk costume while complimenting her own Princess Leia metal bikini. Shatner’s sharp retort is that at least his costume “has stretch” so that it would still fit his now larger physique. “I don’t know if we are ready to see you in that bikini,” he tells Fisher. “While my costume just needs some push and pull, your bikini would need some real…uplift.”
Over 30 years after opening our ears to the musical quality of franks-and-beans flatulence, actor and director Mel Brooks will finally receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 83-year-old “Blazing Saddles” director, will place his hands in cement on April 23.