'They Had Done Their Homework': Meet Victor Kovner, Attorney for The Jinx Filmmakers

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Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office
Sometimes life imitates art. Other times art intimidates life. That seemed to be the case with the HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which, over the course of a decade, tracked the shady past of the New York City real estate scion, in particular the trail of deaths that seemed to follow him. The final episode of The Jinx contained a shocking revelation: Durst, after an on-camera interview with filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, wandered into a hotel bathroom still wearing his microphone and made what sounded like a full confession. The shock was compounded by real-life events. The day before the finale was set to air, the FBI arrested Durst in New Orleans for the murder of Susan Berman, a friend of his who was killed in Los Angeles in 2000.

In a media landscape transfixed by artfully told true-crime stories (The Jinx comes on the heels of NPR's wildly popular Serial podcast), the show's presentation of its case against Durst — not to mention the timing of Durst's arrest — raised a host of questions regarding the lines between entertainment and jurisprudence, chain of custody, and the legal responsibilities of documentary journalists. The Jinx navigated this thicket with the help of Victor A. Kovner, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine with a long history of providing pre-print or pre-broadcast review to media outlets (including, from the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s, the Village Voice).

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Brooklyn Jeopardy! Contestant Seizes Opportunity to Invite Alex Trebek to Her DJ Night

Jill Locascio was cruising during her run on Jeopardy!, which aired Monday. With $5,000 after the first round, she was in the lead — and it was one the academic librarian kept after the second round, too, boasting $13,400 in winnings by that point. She was crushing categories on French composers and (naturally, it would seem; the color black dominates her wardrobe) coolly fielding an item about goths.

But the next question posed was her downfall.

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Colin Quinn's 'Bitterness' Comes Through on New Web Series, Cop Show

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Screenshot via L/Studio
Colin Quinn on his own 'stupid web show.'
"What do we got?"

"Female, Caucasian, late twenties. Looks to be possibly deceased."

Thus begins episode one of Cop Show, a new Web series created by and starring veteran stand-up comedian Colin Quinn. A mockumentary-style take on New York City–set procedurals and the grizzled cops who populate them, Cop Show finds humor not only in the groan-worthy clichés of its titular genre, but also in the overlap between its lead character and the man who plays him.


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Video: Mad Men Sets Come Alive at the Museum of the Moving Image

Categories: Film and TV

Two sets from Mad Men, which ends its series run this spring, have been shipped to the Museum of the Moving Image from Los Angeles and are included in "Matthew Weiner's Mad Men," an exhibition that runs from March 14 to June 14.

Curator Barbara Miller says MoMI worked in conjunction with the AMC series to pick the items. "It's kind of amazing, because they really, really do seem very much alive. You kind of expect Don Draper to be sitting behind his desk in his office. You expect Betty Draper to walk through the door into her kitchen." MoMI is located at 36-01 35th Avenue (between 36th and 37th streets) in Astoria, Queens. The second half of the seventh and final season of Mad Men premieres April 5 on AMC.

See also:
Mad Men's Six Best Music Moments
The Unofficial Future History of
Mad Men
Mad Men: Five Academic Theories Explaining Life at SCDP


Podcast: Here's Why Fox's Empire Rules

Categories: Film and TV

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Photo: Chuck Hodes/Fox
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard in Empire
There are five reasons why Fox's Empire has become a breakout hit, and on this week's Voice Film Club podcast, we run down why the show, introduced as a mid-season replacement, has surged to nearly 14 million viewers an episode by its eighth week. Joining Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl are Voice TV columnist Inkoo Kang, Brooklyn bon vivant Meave Gallagher, and LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson. We also ask why Focus, the Will Smith–Margot Robbie vehicle, flopped at the box office, and wrap up by recommending four mighty little TV shows: Mike Tyson Mysteries on Adult Swim, RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, You're the Worst on FXX, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews, and news over at villagevoice.com/movies.

[Subscribe to the Voice Film Club podcast on iTunes]

Leonard Nimoy Represented the Best of Humanity

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Nimoy in a publicity still for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock .
Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83. Both on camera and off, he exemplified the best of what Star Trek, and thus humanity, could represent.

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Here's That Non-Jewish 2015 Annie Hall Remake the World's Been Waiting For

Categories: Film and TV

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Maybe he needed the eggs.

That's our best guess as to what's going on in this confounding — but sometimes funny — video that just turned up online. Brooklyn-based filmmaker J.D. Oxblood has posted the trailer to an unfinished romantic comedy he's calling #AnnieHall, a Brooklyn-based, present-day find-and-replace riff on Woody Allen's epochal 1977 film.

In this iteration, Annie Hall is Minnie Wohl, a "nice Yeshiva girl" who resists being dragged by her lover to see The Battle of Algiers, Oxblood's replacement for The Sorrow and the Pity. Allen's Alvy Singer, meanwhile, is now a blond goy, a comedy writer whose paranoia that the world's prejudiced against him now has a tinge of Tea Party dada: Rather than insist that he was subjected to the question "Jew eat?" this tanned schlemiel carps that a Pakistani called him "Whitey."

Yes, this cover/adaptation/whatever changes Annie Hall around to re-tell the story from a perspective we just never get to hear in our society: a Brooklyn dude who's into Woody Allen movies. But it's easy to carp. What Oxblood has whipped up is fascinating, and it offers some legitimate laughs:

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Podcast: Winners, Awkward Moments, and Losers From the 2015 Oscars

Categories: Film and TV

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Screenshot from Oscars red-carpet coverage on ABC
Griffith and Johnson during an awkward moment on the red carpet
There was an awkward moment between Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson and her mom, Melanie Griffith, on the red carpet before the Oscars on Sunday. But the world got to see Johnson's impressive talent for pretending uncomfortable situations don't seem to bother her (see also: Fifty Shades of Grey). It was an eventful Oscars, and that was only the start. Your Voice Film Club hosts Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek break down the 2015 Oscars winners and losers, while Amy and Stephanie unveil their all-time favorite Oscar dresses. Plus, Amy tells us about how Channing Tatum is going to blow our minds in the new Coen Brothers movie, Hail, Caesar! As always, send mail to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews, and news over at villagevoice.com/movies.

[Subscribe to the Voice Film Club podcast on iTunes]

Oscars: Here's How Not to Be Like Sean Penn

Categories: Film and TV

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Screen shot from a video posted to the Academy's Facebook page

Can I talk directly to my people for a moment?

Hi, white folks! Glad you're doing well! Or, I should say, I'm glad we're doing well, since I'm totally one of you. The Oscars last night was kind of a wash for those of us who think of us as an "us": Neil Patrick Harris couldn't save his pitiable jokes, American Sniper got shut out of the major awards, and Common and John Legend proclaimed with power and urgency truths that many of us spend our lives avoiding — truths that make the dumbest of our ilk freak the hell out:

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Film Pod: Kevin Costner Eases White America Into the Present With McFarland, USA

Categories: Film and TV

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Ron Phillips/© Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Disney's McFarland, USA
Kevin Costner eases white America into the now with McFarland, USA, we hear about the Berlin Film Festival's highs (Queen of Earth) and lows (Knight of Cups) and dip into the lukewarm waters of a second Hot Tub Time Machine movie, and there's much praise for teen comedy The DUFF and Wild Tales, a film filled with stories of humans acting badly. We also hear about the plight of Fluffy, the cat owned by director Alex Ross Perry. Your hosts (Amy Nicholson, Alan Scherstuhl, and Stephanie Zacharek) are joined by film critic Jordan Hoffman for this week's feature-length pod. As always, send barbs, jabs, claims, or jokes to filmpod@villagevoice.com and follow us on the Twitter at @voicefilmclub. Read all of our movie reviews, interviews, and news over at villagevoice.com/movies.

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