Commentary: A ballet for us all: How 'Appalachian Spring' carries promise for a new beginning

When Martha Graham's ballet "Appalachian Spring" had its premiere on Oct. 30, 1944, in Washington, D.C., Aaron Copland was the voice of America. He had the gift to be simple. He wrote music that served the essential need for wartime American unity.

Among Copland's wartime efforts had been "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Lincoln Portrait," ...Read more

New music: 3 cool new songs that you should hear in August

Here are three new songs worth putting in heavy rotation this month:

"Glad In it," Chris Bender

The Stoughton, Massachusetts native is a rising star in the Gospel music world, having won a number of awards, collaborated with several notable talents in the genre and scored the previous top 25 hit "The Blood Song."

Bender's new offering -- "...Read more

Review: 'Sputnik,' a Russian spin on 'Alien' — and it's good

The clever and nicely gory "Sputnik" comes from Russia with love, slime, and an impressive lesson in efficient, low-cost pulp filmmaking.

How is the gore "nice," exactly? It's in the eye of the beholder. First-time feature film director Egor Abramenko proves himself an astute judge of when, how much and how many seconds to show his slithering ...Read more

Los Angeles' AFI Fest will go virtual in 2020. Here's what they've learned from other fests

LOS ANGELES -- The revised fall festival corridor in the age of COVID has continued to take shape with recent announcements of hybrid virtual/physical events from Venice, Toronto and New York, along with the outright cancellation of Telluride. Now, L.A.'s own AFI Fest will officially be a virtual event when it takes place Oct. 15-22.

Continuing...Read more

Emmys 2020 predictions: Count on 'Watchmen' to make a strong showing

This Emmy season filled our DVRs and watch queues with so many excellent limited series -- too many to fit into a contracted slate of five nominees. Probably too many for most voters to watch.

You'd think that breadth of quality would be reflected in the nominations, but that didn't really happen. HBO's "Watchmen" earned a leading 26 nods; the ...Read more

Stevie Nicks fears COVID-19: 'If I get it, I will probably never sing again'

You thought those floaty dresses and shawls and smoky eyes were the most dramatic things about Stevie Nicks? Far from it.

The Fleetwood Mac singer, 72, is asking younger people to wear masks and social distance to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and she's doing it with a blend of statistics, harrowing language pulled from science and one of...Read more

Why celebrities are declaring 'we have her back' about Kamala Harris

Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Debra Messing, Amy Schumer, Sarah Paulson and more celebrities are standing with Sen. Kamala Harris, Joe Biden's newly minted and historic running mate for the 2020 election.

The awareness campaign combating vicious attacks against Harris began even before the Democratic VP pick was announced...Read more

#SelPink is a go! Selena Gomez joins K-pop group Blackpink for next single

Get ready for some #SelPink in your area!

After a week of fevered speculation, pop star Selena Gomez has revealed herself as the mystery artist featured on Blackpink's forthcoming single, arriving Aug. 28. Last week, the K-pop girl group unveiled the cover art for the track and hinted at a new collaboration -- sending prescient fans of Gomez ...Read more

Sarah Cooper, the internet's favorite Donald Trump impersonator, is coming to Netflix

President Trump is coming to Netflix. Sort of.

Sarah Cooper, who has become one of the hottest comedians in the country thanks to her social media posts lip-syncing to Trump's head-scratching public statements, is getting her own Netflix comedy special.

"Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine" is being billed by the streaming platform as a "variety ...Read more

3 men accused in plots to threaten, harass victims in R. Kelly racketeering case in New York

CHICAGO -- Three men have been charged in federal court in New York with attempting to "intimidate, threaten or corruptly influence" alleged victims in the racketeering case against singer R. Kelly.

Richard Arline Jr., of Dolton, Donnell Russell, of Chicago, and Michael Williams, of Valdosta, Georgia, were each charged in separate criminal ...Read more

College Football shutdown puts $1.2 billion in TV ads at risk

The decisions by the Big Ten and Pac-12 college athletic conferences to postpone their football season endanger a huge chunk of sales for media companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Fox Corp.

College football alone generated almost $1.2 billion in ad revenue for U.S. television networks last year. Its collapse could also hasten the loss of ...Read more

Media mogul Sumner Redstone, whose empire included Viacom and CBS, dies at 97

LOS ANGELES -- Sumner Redstone, the pugnacious Hollywood titan who controlled media giants Viacom and CBS Corp., died Tuesday after a lengthy illness, according to National Amusements, the Redstone family's private holding company that controls what is now ViacomCBS. He was 97.

Redstone coined the phrase "content is king," and he firmly ...Read more

Neil Young spends thousands to leave 'corrupt' Facebook, Google

In the midst of his battle against President Trump, Neil Young has decided to take on a couple of other sizable entities -- Facebook and Google.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who lived in the Bay Area for decades before departing for Southern California a few years back, has announced he'll be spending thousands of dollars to disconnect his ...Read more

Review: Lush horror-thriller 'Sputnik' imagines what happens when an alien makes its way to Earth

The DNA of "Alien" is all over Egor Abramenko's directorial debut, the Russian Soviet-era horror/sci-fi film "Sputnik." Fortunately, this offspring of Ridley Scott's classic is very much its own slick, engaging psychological horror-thriller, anchored by a strong lead performance by Oksana Akinshina.

Based on Abramenko's short film "The ...Read more

Redbox's Top 10 DVD rentals

The top 10 DVD rentals at Redbox kiosks for the week of Aug. 3:

1. Scoob! -- Warner

2. You Should Have Left -- Universal

3. Deep Blue Sea 3 -- Warner

4. Survive the Night -- Lionsgate

5. Money Plane -- Quiver

6. Trolls World Tour -- Universal

7. Coma (2020) -- MPI

8. The Invisible Man -- Universal

9. Grand Isle -- Screen Media

10. Bad ...Read more

Who is Kamala Harris' husband? Douglas Emhoff, from #DougHive to the Taco Bell Chihuahua

It started with a tweet from Dr. Jill Biden, wife of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

"Hey (Douglas Emhoff). Are you ready?" she asked.

This wasn't a random question: Emhoff is the husband of presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

"Ready to work! Let's go (Dr. Jill Biden)!" he wrote...Read more

My worst moment: Gillian Jacobs and stairs are not a good combo

"Community" was the TV show that made Gillian Jacobs famous and a number of projects followed, including the Netflix series "Love." Next she stars in the forthcoming adaptation of R.L. Stine's "Fear Street" book series. But first, you can see her in the indie comedy "I Used to Go Here" (rentable via streaming) from Chicago writer-director Kris ...Read more

A new look at a great doc: 'Jazz on a Summer's Day' and a visit to the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival

It's one of the greatest jazz documentaries ever made and perhaps the most sumptuously ever filmed.

For Bert Stern and Aram Avakian's "Jazz on a Summer's Day" does more than chronicle highlights of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. Unlike uncounted jazz films, it ignores the usual jazz cliches, refusing to portray its cast of musicians as victims...Read more

Why you should watch the gorgeous 'In the Mood for Love'

I remembered the music immediately; it's been floating in my head for 20 years. At the center of Wong Kar-wai's hypnotically beautiful film "In the Mood for Love" is an unforgettable waltz. Its tempo is slow, as if dripping with dark syrup; its melody, played by solo violin, is all plangent longing and eloquent wandering -- it wraps itself ...Read more

Meet the Illinois athletes on the all-Black adventure racing team that's featured on a new Amazon series

CHICAGO -- You can't miss Illinois native Coree Woltering -- or his Speedos -- on "World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji."

"The Speedo became a thing back in (2016) when I was in Florida for a 50-kilometer race, and I forgot my racing shorts, but I had Speedos with me," Woltering told the Tribune by phone. "I ended up winning that race, and...Read more