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Kobe Bryant dead: LeBron James visibly emotional as he returns to Los Angeles with team
Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash had a profound effect on Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James as cameras caught him and the team arriving back in the city from their East Coast road trip Sunday.
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Latest: The 2020 Grammy Awards
Alicia Keys hosts the 2020 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Follow here for the latest on the red carpet fashion, performances and winners.
Kobe. The rare celebrity who didn't need a last name
It's hard to believe NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, whose prodigious talent and fiery, win-at-all-costs spirit made him one of the most famous and decorated athletes in history, is gone.
The Liberation of Auschwitz Took Place 75 Years Ago. Today, America Is Witnessing the 'Revival' of Anti-Semitism
Decades after the end of the Holocaust with the closure of Nazi concentration camps U.S. forces helped liberate, the number of hate crimes against Jews in America hits a record high.
Kobe Bryant's death in helicopter crash sparks condolences from both sides of political aisle
Politics largely paused Sunday amid word that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California.
Live on the 2020 Grammys Red Carpet
Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande and the Jonas Brothers have arrived.
Traveling by helicopter was common for Kobe Bryant
During playing days with the Lakers, Kobe Bryant would travel by helicopter from his home in Orange County to LA to avoid traffic and to stay fresh.
See All the Winners of the 2020 Grammy Awards
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards took place this year under the shadow of major tumult at the Recording Academy. They also began just hours after news broke that NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his . daughter Gianna and seven others died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles. Despite the somber mood, the stars showed up…
Kobe Bryant was grooming his daughter Gianna to carry on his legacy
News that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter in California on Sunday was made more tragic by what came next -- confirmation that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, also was onboard.
Salvini faces setback in Italian regional election
The Italian far-right leader had focused heavily on campaigning in the Emilia-Romagna region.
Michael Jordan’s emotional tribute to Kobe Bryant: ‘Like a little brother’
Michael Jordan paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on Sunday after the 41-year-old Lakers legend and his teenage daughter were killed in a helicopter crash earlier in the day.  “I am in shock over the tragic news of Kobe’s and Gianna’s passing,” Jordan said in a statement. “Words can’t describe the pain I’m feeling.”...
CNN 10 - January 27, 2020
January 27, 2020
CNN10 - 1/27/20
Today's first story explains how U.S. presidential caucuses work. Also featured are reports on the untimely death of an NBA star and the cost of Super Bowl ads.
'MVP' chants, flowers strewn: Fans, musicians mourn Kobe Bryant at Grammys
News of Kobe Bryant's death had Grammy attendees reeling on Sunday.
Ozzy Osbourne attends Grammys 2020 with cane and daughter Kelly
Osbourne was originally supposed to appear at the event with his wife, Sharon.
NBA fans mourn Kobe Bryant following his death in helicopter crash
Former NBA great Kobe Bryant was among the passengers who died Sunday in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California,
Trump told Bolton he wanted to hold Ukraine aid pending help on Biden probe: NYTimes
U.S. President Donald Trump told his then-national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
Transcript: Pete Buttigieg talks with Ed O'Keefe on "Face the Nation"
The following is a transcript of an interview with Pete Buttigieg conducted by CBS News' Ed O'Keefe
Ryan Seacrest opens Grammys 2020 red carpet with tribute to Kobe Bryant
Ryan Seacrest paid tribute to Kobe Bryant ahead of his Grammys 2020 red carpet coverage.
Kanye West tweets tribute to Kobe Bryant: ‘We love you brother’
Kanye West sent a tribute to basketball great Kobe Bryant following the tragic news that he and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant were killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday in Calabasas, Calf. He was 41.
Kobe Bryant, fiery NBA superstar and future Hall of Famer, is dead at 41
He was the rare celebrity who didn't need a last name. Oprah. LeBron. Beyonce. Kobe. Everyone knew who you were talking about.
Gwen Stefani wears Blake Shelton-inspired dress on Grammys 2020 red carpet
Her Dolce & Gabbana frock featured a subtle nod to his last name.
Kobe Bryant dead at 41: A life in pictures
The basketball legend and retired Lakers veteran, along with his teen daughter and seven others, died in a helicopter crash.
Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter among nine killed in California helicopter crash
Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA's all-time greats whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said. He was 41.
De Blasio reportedly tried to KO testimony of whistleblower who accused him of corruption
"The mayor freaked out to the point where people started to say, ‘Wow, you’re protesting too much,' " said a source.
The difference between the Grammys’ Song, Album, and Record of the Year categories, explained
Lizzo is up for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Record of the year at the 2020 Grammys. | Dave Simpson/WireImage Here's everything you need to know to keep them straight. There are just four categories at the Grammy Awards where artists from all musical genres compete against each other — Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. In these four races, country artists bump up against R&B musicians, and they both take on pop stars. If an artist wins one of these awards, they'll make headlines and get to give a nice long speech at the awards telecast. But the Grammys’ many, many categories are already steeped in confusing industry-speak, and the top four awards are no different. With the exception of Best New Artist, it's easy to confuse the other three. Here's everything you need to know to keep these categories straight. Album of the Year The Album of the Year award is the most prestigious Grammy there is, the rough equivalent of the Best Picture Oscar. The category honors an entire LP, from the first track to the last, and everything about the production of the album's sound. Originally, the Album of the Year award went only to the artist credited with the creation of the album, and to the album's producers. But starting in 1999, with Lauryn Hill's win for The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, the sound engineers and mixers of the album have also been honored, as have any featured artists who appear on the album. If you participated in the creation of the sound of the album, you get a golden gramophone. However, the album's songwriters are not included in this award. How to remember it: The whole album gets an award! Some people confuse Album of the Year with Record of the Year, since albums used to be on physical records and, thus, the two terms are often used interchangeably in common parlance. But singles also used to be on physical records, and you wouldn't call a single song "Album of the Year." The 2020 nominees for Album of the Year are: thank u, next — Ariana Grande When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — Billie Eilish i,i — Bon Iver I Used to Know Her — H.E.R. Norman Fucking Rockwell — Lana Del Rey 7 EP — Lil Nas X Cuz I Love You — Lizzo Father of the Bride — Vampire Weekend Record of the Year Record of the Year is often confused with Song of the Year, since both awards go to individual songs. But the distinction is actually pretty simple to remember. The Record of the Year honors, first and foremost, the performing artist. Song of the Year honors the songwriter. Record of the Year is given to the performing artist, the producers, the sound engineers, the master engineer, and the sound mixers. The award directly correlates with the way song copyrights are created. For every song, there are at least two copyrights: The first goes to the songwriter, and the second goes to the performer. Those copyrights determine how a song’s contributors get paid, and how much they are paid. The people who make the sound of the song (not the words and melody), own the "Sound Recording" copyright. Hence, Record of the Year. How to remember it: Instead of thinking of "record" as a physical, spinning record, think of it as the product of a recording studio. Everyone who would be in a recording studio working on the Record of the Year–winning song receives a golden gramophone for this award. The 2020 nominees for Record of the Year are: “Hey, Ma” — Bon Iver “Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish “7 Rings” — Ariana Grande “Hard Place” — H.E.R. “Talk” — Khalid “Old Town Road” — Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus “Truth Hurts” — Lizzo “Sunflower” — Post Malone and Swae Lee Song of the Year The Song of the Year Grammy doesn't actually honor the performer of the winning song. Instead, it goes to the people who wrote the song. It's easy to get this award confused with Record of the Year because there is often overlap in who is accepting the award. For example, if an artist has songwriting credit on their nominated song — a pretty common occurrence — then the artist might accept the award and give the speech. But they are receiving the award for writing and constructing the song, not for their performance of it. Legally, this side of the copyright is known as the mechanical copyright. (Its name stems from the invention of mechanical pianos.) That copyright only goes to the songwriter, as does this award. How to remember it: Try to think of it as Songwriter of the Year, rather than just Song. The 2020 nominees for Song of the Year are: “Always Remember Us This Way” — Natalie Hemby, Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey, and Lori McKenna, songwriters (Lady Gaga) “Bad Guy” — Billie Eilish O’Connell and Finneas O’Connell, songwriters (Billie Eilish) “Bring My Flowers Now” — Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth, and Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker) “Hard Place” — Ruby Amanfu, Sam Ashworth, D. Arcelious Harris. H.E.R., and Rodney Jerkins, songwriters (H.E.R.) “Lover” — Taylor Swift, songwriter (Taylor Swift) “Norman Fucking Rockwell” — Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey, songwriters (Lana Del Rey) “Someone You Loved” — Tom Barnes, Lewis Capaldi, Pere Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn, and Sam Roman, songwriters (Lewis Capaldi) “Truth Hurts” — Steven Cheung, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferson, and Jesse Saint John, songwriters (Lizzo)
Nets coach Kenny Atkinson gets emotional over Kobe Bryant’s death
Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson was visibly shaken and struggled to control his emotions as he spoke Sunday about Kobe Bryant’s death in a California helicopter crash. Atkinson’s eyes were rimmed with red and brimming with tears as he addressed reporters ahead of a scheduled 6 p.m. game between the Nets and the New York...
Magic Johnson on Kobe Bryant death: 'I'm in disbelief and have been crying all morning'
Former Lakers star and executive Magic Johnson says he and his wife, Cookie, "are heartbroken" over the death of Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash.
El día que Kobe Bryant mostró su amor por su afición latina y habló del legado que le dejó al deporte
El legendario 'Mamba' habló con nosotros de lo que le dejaba al deporte y de su amor por la afición latina
Packers stars lead tributes to Kobe Bryant at Pro Bowl
The Kobe Bryant tributes weren’t limited to the basketball court. Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith found a way during the Pro Bowl in Orlando to honor the Lakers legend, who died Sunday at the age of 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and others in a helicopter crash in California. After a strip sack in...
Watch Neymar honor Kobe Bryant after scoring a goal
Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior honored Kobe Bryant by holding up the number 24 after scoring a goal in a game following his death.
What Kobe Bryant's last tweet proves about his character, according to NBA writer
 Joe Vardon, Senior NBA writer at The Athletic responded to Bryant's final post on Fox News Sunday, saying it proves his dedication and commitment to mentoring future NBA stars.
Michael Jordan on the Death of Kobe Bryant: 'He Was Like a Little Brother to Me'
The world reacted with shock late Sunday morning after hearing that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were killed in a helicopter crash in California.
Grammys 2020: Joy Villa continues her streak of Donald Trump-inspired red carpet looks
Joy Villa's streak of wearing conservative-inspired outfits at the Grammys continues. "IMPEACHED & RE-ELECTED," the back of her bright red dress read.
LeBron James in tears following death of Kobe Bryant
LeBron James was spotted in tears, hugging multiple people and walking with his head down hours following the stunning death of NBA and Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. According to video from NBC, James had just landed in Los Angeles with his teammates following a game in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia, where James passed Bryant with...
Kobe Bryant Had a Singular Impact on His Game and the World
Bryant died in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles on Sunday, along with his daughter Gianna
Review: '17 Border Crossings' proves an effective passport to a divided world
Thaddeus Phillips' solo show at the Broad Stage conveys the plight of travelers passing from one country to the next, or at least trying to.
Kobe Bryant mural becomes a shrine to fans mourning his death
Angelenos lay flowers at the mural of Kobe Bryant, mouth open wide and a basketball in his left hand, and lit candles that flickered in the breeze. One of the candles had a gold "8" on it.
College baseball coach John Altobelli among those killed in helicopter crash with Kobe Bryant
John Altobelli, the head baseball coach at Orange Coast College, was among those killed in the helicopter crash, assistant coach Ron La Ruffa said.
U.S. stock futures fall more than 1 pct as coronavirus fears spread
U.S. S&P500 e-mini futures fell more than 1% in Asian trade on Monday on mounting worries the new coronavirus outbreak could severely disrupt the Chinese economy, an engine of global growth.
4 biggest takeaways from Bellator 238: Darrion Caldwell impresses to set up A.J. McKee showdown
Thoughts and analysis of the biggest storylines coming out of Bellator 238, where Cris Cyborg and Darrion Caldwell shined bright.       Related StoriesScott Coker on Cris Cyborg’s title win and what's next, Sergio Pettis’ debut, more after Bellator 238Bellator 238 post-event facts: Cris Cyborg achieves MMA's first quadruple crownAfter leaving UFC for Bellator, Sergio Pettis admits he was 'stressed the hell out' for debut
The 2020 Grammys’ sexual harassment and corruption controversy, explained
Deborah Dugan Ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan claims she was suspended in retaliation for exposing a “boys’ club” atmosphere and a rigged Grammy nominations process. The music industry is set to celebrate its brightest stars, showcase its breakthrough new artists, and honor musical legacies at the 62nd Grammy Awards, but the star-studded ceremony will inevitably take place amid controversy and explosive allegations that paint the Recording Academy (which oversees the awards) as a corrupt and sexist institution. Earlier this month, the Recording Academy’s board of trustees abruptly placed CEO Deborah Dugan on leave after the Academy said an assistant had accused her of bullying. She had only held the position for five months. Dugan has denied the charge and filed an extensive complaint to the Los Angeles Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying she was suspended in retaliation for uncovering misconduct and corruption within the Recording Academy. The complaint alleges that the Academy’s general counsel sexually harassed her; that her predecessor as Academy CEO, Neil Portnow, had been accused of rape by an artist (a charge Portnow has denied); and that the Grammy nomination process had been unfairly manipulated. The result is that, on a night that’s supposed to be about music’s most important achievements and influential artists, the biggest story is about the people behind the glamorous awards show and whether or not they deserve that privilege. Deborah Dugan vs. the Recording Academy, explained Dugan’s conflict with the Recording Academy exploded just five months into her tenure as CEO. Dugan had replaced prior CEO Neil Portnow, who had been with the Recording Academy for 17 years; the announcement was in April, and Dugan took over the role on August 1. Dugan was the first woman to ever serve as Recording Academy CEO, and her appointment was seen as a step toward modernizing the organization, which historically has had a poor track record regarding diversity and inclusivity. On January 16, less than two weeks before the Grammys, the Recording Academy’s board of trustees placed Dugan on administrative leave, which the board said came “in light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy board of trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.” The board said it had hired two independent investigators to look into the matter, and it’s expected, according to Billboard, that the investigation will conclude in early spring. In response, Dugan filed a 44-page complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that her suspension was actually retaliation for fighting wrongdoing “made possible by the ‘boys’ club’ mentality and approach to governance at the Academy.” Dugan’s complaint says that the Recording Academy staffer who accused her of bullying had previously worked for Portnow. Dugan also alleges that the staffer’s work was not up to her standards, and that she had offered the staffer a new position. She says that board members responded to these allegations by taking away Dugan’s administrative powers within the Academy. The New York Times reports: Harvey Mason Jr., a record producer who is the board chairman, sent Ms. Dugan a letter on Dec. 9, informing her that she was no longer permitted to terminate staff members without board approval, and could not assign any new initiatives or choose any outside counsel for the academy’s legal work. Dugan’s EEOC complaint also says that on December 22, 2019, she sent an email to Shonda Grant, the Recording Academy’s head of human resources, saying she had been sexually harassed by a lawyer who represents the Academy, while also alleging corruption and favoritism within the Grammy nomination process. The prime example of the corruption was in regards to 2019’s “Song of the Year” award. Dugan said that an artist was allowed to sit on the nomination committee, and even though that artist was ranked 18 out of 20 in the category, they still ended up with a nomination. The complaint reads: This artist was actually permitted to sit on the “Song of the Year” nomination committee. Incredibly, this artist is also represented by a member of the Board. As a result of the foregoing, it is not surprising that many high caliber artists who could have taken home the award in a specific category, have, at times, not been nominated at all. Dugan’s complaint also alleges that the chair of the board was trying to ensure a $750,000 parachute for Portnow’s departure, via contracting him as a consultant after his exit — an exit that allegedly happened because of a rape allegation against Portnow: In addition, the email complained that Ms. Dugan had been asked by the then-current Chair of the Board, John Poppo to hire former CEO Neil Portnow as a consultant for the hefty sum of $750,000. Mr. Portnow bowed away from the Academy in disgrace after making misogynistic remarks about woman recording artists. As Ms. Dugan came to learn after she agreed to take the CEO position (for which she was paid substantially less than her two male predecessors), Mr. Portnow also allegedly raped a female recording artist, which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed. On January 25, Dugan gave an extensive interview to the Los Angeles Times, in which she explained that her EEOC complaint was not about the Grammy Awards but about the Academy. “The ceremony is about the musicians and the fans. I don’t want to taint that,” Dugan said. “This is about the Recording Academy. The Recording Academy must change. To bring the Grammys down because of a few bad eggs [at the Academy] wouldn’t be fair to the artists.” She continued: “This is not something I would bring on myself and try to grab the limelight right before the Grammys, but I feel like there was a series of events, that I had to defend myself.” Taylor Swift has reportedly canceled a surprise performance at the Grammys in solidarity with Dugan As Dugan’s fight with the Academy has unfolded, many artists have remained silent. But some have publicly expressed support for Dugan, as have some staffers within the Recording Academy. The Recording Academy Task Force on Diversity, formed in 2018 to improve diversity and inclusion within the Academy and which actually oversaw Dugan’s appointment to CEO, released a statement on January 23 voicing its shock and dismay over Dugan’s allegations. It called upon the Academy’s board to implement a series of system-wide changes, including equal representation, hiring an outside advisor to review workplace culture, and changing the election system for board members. Per that statement: On December 12, 2019, we issued a 47-page report, setting out 18 systemic changes we determined were needed to improve diversity and inclusion at the Academy, and drive constructive change across the music industry. These new charges reinforce just how important and urgent it is that the Academy implement all of the changes in the report that we delivered — without any delay. The Academy’s Board of Trustees and leadership must immediately commit themselves to real reform, take concrete steps to implement all of the Task Force reforms, and transparently and regularly report on their progress — including transparently reporting on the pending investigations they have announced are underway. The Task Force will be reconvening in 90 days and expects to hear progress from the Academy by that time. Celebrities including Gabrielle Union and recording artists like Sheryl Crow and Public Enemy’s Chuck D have also supported Dugan. Chuck D wrote on Instagram, “I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change. As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up. Same old bullshit.” View this post on Instagram My open letter To The Grammy’s and Hip hop ✊ ............ Figures… I salute Deborah Dugan for her truth and courage to try and effect change. As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up. Same old bullshit. They want to keep it status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their fuckery. In 1989 we protested the Grammys because they refused to acknowledge a new art form called Hip Hop/Rap. I responded with the lyric, “Who gives a fuck about a goddamn Grammy.” We fought to be recognized and for things to change. We kicked that door in for others to come through. After 35 years in this industry, folks should know that I always defer any individual accomplishment, always giving salutes to those before me and trying to open the door for those after me. In agreeing to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award when Deborah called me was no different. We discussed these issues and what needed to change. Hip Hop can’t be judged by a bunch of old corporate guards who rewrite history to serve their corporate bottom line. But it was obvious she was having her own struggles with an academy that thinks Public Enemy ended in 1992 yet want to give us a lifetime achievement award without acknowledging a lifetime of work. We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award. We had to question why our biggest UK hit and the theme to the global Paralympics Games, “Harder Than You Think,” was left out. Maybe because it was released on my own independent label, SlamJamz, and not a major? Never could I have imagined that pushing for the recognition our art form deserved would turn into artists being coerced into disrespecting the craft, themselves, the culture and other people only to chase the bag and validation from corporations and award shows who don’t care about you. I hope this letter will be a wake-up call for them. New folks but the same ol bullshit pattern doesn’t change a thing. So I’m not surprised that Deborah Dugan is out. I am appalled because it reeks of the same old jive, a New Whirl Odor that .. A post shared by Chuck D (@mrchuckd_pe) on Jan 17, 2020 at 4:25pm PST In terms of Grammys telecast, none of the artists who’ve been previously announced as performing have canceled. However, Taylor Swift was reportedly going to appear as a surprise performer, but has pulled out in solidarity with Dugan, according to Variety. Per the New York Post, Swift was expected to perform her song “The Man,” a tune about gender inequality and the double standards women are held to in society. The song’s lyrics include: If I was out flashin’ my dollars/ I’d be a bitch, not a baller/ They’d paint me out to be bad/ So it’s okay that I’m mad Neither Swift nor her representatives have commented on her reported cancelation. It’s not difficult to imagine how a performance from Swift might have drawn Dugan’s claims right into the spotlight at the Grammys, especially given her highly vocal stances on equality, sexism, and, of late, politics. But even if no one directly mentions Dugan’s allegations during the Grammys ceremony, despite Dugan saying her complaints aren’t intended to taint the awards themselves, it’s impossible not to think about what’s going on behind the scenes.
Alan Miller says National News Literacy Week is about solving the misinformation 'pandemic'
The News Literacy Project is breaking out of the classroom to launch a public awareness campaign, and project founder and CEO Alan Miller says it's all about the misinformation "pandemic."
NBA teams take shot-clock violations to honor Bryant
The San Antonio Spurs and the Toronto Raptors each took a 24 second violation to honor Kobe Bryant, meaning each team held the ball for the entirety of the shot clock without attempting a basket. Kobe Bryant wore #24 towards the second half of his career.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver hails ‘remarkable’ Kobe Bryant after deadly helicopter crash
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement following the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Sunday in a helicopter crash. Bryant was 41. “The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna. “For 20 seasons, Kobe showed us what is possible when remarkable talent blends...
Saudi energy minister says confident China can contain, eradicate new coronavirus
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud said on Monday the kingdom was closely monitoring developments in global oil markets resulting from “gloomy expectations” over the impact of the new coronavirus on the Chinese and global economy and oil market fundamentals.
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How Sundance films are probing the mushy nature of truth and fiction in 2020
A still from On the Record by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. | Martyna Starosta/Courtesy of Sundance Institute This year’s unofficial festival theme is reality — and how we obscure it. It’s 2020, and many things that once seemed solid and certain now seem up for grabs. The line between truth and fiction, reality and hyperreality, what’s real and what the powerful want you to believe is real, has never felt more smudged. And that appears, in a way, to be the unofficial theme of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Some of the films classified as “documentaries” use techniques more commonly associated with fiction; some of the fiction films have distinctly nonfiction qualities. Many explore the ways in which technology can create a “reality” that obscures what’s actually real — or what we lie about to ourselves and to others. Here are 12 documentaries, fiction films, and documentary series from Sundance that unpack, explore, and sometimes use the blurry nature of truth and reality to their advantage — and ours. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets Courtesy of Sundance Institute A scene from Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets. In the extraordinary Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, documentarians and brothers Bill and Turner Ross chronicle the last night of service for a Las Vegas dive bar called Roaring ’20s, as regulars come and go, fight and kiss, and try to face the fact that the place that felt most like it was theirs will no longer exist. For them, it’s the end of the world. But there’s a catch: The Ross brothers used a bar in New Orleans as a set and asked people to play characters much like themselves. Is the movie fiction? Yes, technically. Is it nonfiction? Not exactly. Is it “real”? Absolutely. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets reminds us that we’re constantly reinventing and performing ourselves, even in our most comfortable, cherished settings — and cinema does it, too. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets is currently awaiting distribution. Collective Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from Collective by Alexander Nanau, an official selection of the Spotlight program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. In 2015, a fire in a Bucharest nightclub killed 27 people — and 37 more in the weeks that followed, due to shockingly inadequate hospital conditions that led to infections in the survivors. Collective — named in part for the nightclub, Colectiv, and in part for the film’s theme of systemic failure — is an observational documentary that traces the conditions and exposes huge deficiencies in the Romanian health care system as a whole. Documentarian Alexander Nanau captures the lies told by government officials during the fallout from the fire; eventually, their actions led to the government’s (short-lived) downfall. Collective plays out like a chilling, slow-moving train wreck, a study in how a government gaslights its citizens into accepting conditions that would be avoidable but for greed and corruption. Collective is currently awaiting distribution. The Dissident Jamal Khashoggi/Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from The Dissident by Bryan Fogel, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Oscar-winning documentarian Bryan Fogel (Icarus) returns with The Dissident, a searing, slickly filmed deep-dive into the murder of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi, ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (a.k.a. MBS) in 2018. Leaning on extensive interviews as well as news reports and audio of the assassination, which took place inside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Istanbul, The Dissident is a damning journalistic case. It takes on a regime that presents itself as progressive while actively working to control narratives about itself, sometimes via massive armies of Twitter trolls. (One expert in the documentary estimates that 80 percent of the Saudi Arabian population is on Twitter, compared with 20 percent in the US.) The Dissident also makes clear the complicity of Donald Trump, who refused to outright condemn Khashoggi’s murder, and sounds an alarm bell for what Khashoggi’s death means for journalists around the world. At times the film presents so much information that it can be hard to follow, but its urgency is unmistakable. The Dissident is awaiting distribution. Dick Johnson Is Dead John Wakayama Carey/Courtesy of Sundance Institute Dick Johnson appears in Dick Johnson is Dead by Kirsten Johnson, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. In Dick Johnson Is Dead, documentarian Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson) zooms in on her aging father and her relationship withhim as they both begin to come to terms with his inevitable eventualpassing. The result is as playful as it is painful; in some sequences, Johnson stages her father’s arrival in heaven. In others, we’re not sure if we’re looking at something that really happened or something that’s imagined. Some scenes are shot in cinéma véritéstyle, as Dick plays with his grandchildren, packs up his office after retiring, and talks about his late wife, Kirsten’s mother, who had Alzheimer’s and died several years ago. It’s an exercise in imagination and an inquiry into whether imagining the death of a loved one and their hopes for the hereafter might magnify or blunt the blow of death when it finally comes. Dick Johnson Is Dead will premiere on Netflix later this year. Love Fraud Alex Takats/Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from Love Fraud by Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, an official selection of the Special Events program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Love Fraud is absolutely unbelievable, except that it’s true. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp, One of Us) explore the stories of a shockingly high number of women who were all aggressively courted — and in many cases, married — by a con man with multiple aliases whom, over the course of the four-part documentary series, they start to track down. Love Fraud is like The Jinx but better; it dives deeply into the ways we are blinded to the truth, even about ourselves — and its finale is truly, chillingly unforgettable. Love Fraud premieres on May 8 on Showtime. The Mole Agent Alvaro Reyes/Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from The Mole Agent by Maite Alberdi, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. You could call The Mole Agent a spy movie, but it’s an unusual one — and unusually poignant, too. Documentarian Maite Alberdi lets us in on a bit of subterfuge as Sergio, an elderly Chilean man, is “cast” as a new nursing home resident by Detective Romulo, who’s been hired to investigate the facility. Sergio’s job is to infiltrate the home on behalf of Romulo’s client and look into whether the client’s mother is being abused; meanwhile, the documentarians both follow Sergio and observe the home’s residents, who don’t know the whole truth about why Sergio is there. What Sergio discovers is much bigger than one patient’s story and more insightful about love, loneliness, and growing old. The Mole Agent is currently awaiting distribution. The Nowhere Inn Minka Farthing Kohl/ Courtesy of Sundance Institute Annie Clark and Carrie Brownstein in The Nowhere Inn. The Nowhere Inn is a semi-fictionalized story about the hazards and constantly see-sawing power balance inherent in making a documentary. And it’s a ton of mind-bending fun. Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia) and Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) wrote the screenplay; each woman plays a version of herself — and, in Clark’s case, several versions. In the film (as, presumably, in real life), Clark’s stage alter ego is a sharp-edged, take-no-prisoners performance artist, while off-stage she’s mild-mannered and pretty boring. She asks Brownstein to make a documentary about her, and for a while, Brownstein coaxes Clark to be “more” St. Vincent to make the movie more interesting. But when St. Vincent finally takes over Clark, things start to go haywire. In The Nowhere Inn, it’s impossible to tell where reality ends and performance begins — or if all of life, in the end, really is performance. The Nowhere Inn is currently awaiting distribution. On the Record Omar Mullick/Courtesy of Sundance Institute Drew Dixon in On the Record by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, an official selection of the Documentary Premieres program at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. On the Record has been through a strange and somewhat baffling last few weeks. Not long before its Sundance debut, Oprah rescinded her support for the film (on which she was serving as executive producer) while reiterating her support for the women who appear in it and allege that “godfather of hip hop” and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons sexually assaulted or raped them. Many of the allegations previously appeared in a 2017 New York Times article, and the reasons for Oprah’s withdrawal are still a little confusing. But On the Record is absolutely damning nonetheless, and is at its best when exploring the reasons that women, and particularly black women in America, often hesitate to accuse a powerful black man of a crime like sexual assault. On the Record is currently awaiting distribution. The Painter and the Thief Barbora Kysilkova/Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from The Painter and the Thief by Benjamin Ree, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. A stunner of a film, The Painter and the Thief is about a young Czech painter, Barbora Kysilkova, and Karl-Bertil Nordland, the thief who stole two of her paintings from an Oslo gallery. He was so high that he can’t remember why he did it — or what he did with the paintings. Barbora’s less interested in the thief than in where the paintings went, but eventually she meets him and decides to paint his portrait, after which they form a friendship and creative partnership of sorts. The Painter and the Thief actively challenges what we think we understand about its characters based on their appearance, class markers, or behavior. It highlights the way artists of all kinds, from painters to filmmakers, turn reality into something that’s at least a little fictionalized in order to make their work — and how everyone conceals the truth a little. The Painter and the Thief is currently awaiting distribution. Time Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from Time by Ursula Garrett Bradley, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Heartbreaking and passionate, Time is the chronicle of a love deferred and the life that hope can provide. Garrett Bradley’s documentary follows Fox Rich, who has spent 21 years doggedly petitioning for the release of her husband Rob, from prison, where he’s been sentenced to spend 60 years following a youthful crime in which they were both involved. Meanwhile, she’s been raising their six children and becoming a powerful advocate for change in her community. And all along, Fox has made videos at home, which feel like a diary of her pain and endurance. Time details her struggle, demonstrating how mass incarceration persistently separates black families in America, as well as how bureaucracy and centuries of narratives conceal the truth and pain of those separations. Time is currently awaiting distribution. Welcome to Chechnya Courtesy of Sundance Institute A still from Welcome to Chechnya by David France, an official selection of the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. People who identify as LGBTQ experience opposition and difficulty all over the world. But in the Russian republic of Chechnya — the Putin-backed regime led by strongman Ramzan Kadyrov — the state is abducting and killing them with impunity. Welcome to Chechnya carefully follows a number of Chechens fleeing for their lives and others who try to shelter them and provide passage to countries where they might be safe. Directed by investigative journalist and award-winning documentarian David France, the film digitally obscures the faces of people who are on the run for their lives — a technique to obscure the “truth” that becomes all the more powerful when it suddenly becomes part of the story. Welcome to Chechnya will be released by HBO in June. Zola Anna Kooris/Courtesy of Sundance Institute Riley Keough and Taylour Paige appear in Zola by Janicza Bravo, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. I am reasonably confident that Zola is the first movie based on a Twitter thread to premiere at Sundance (or possibly ever), and it is a humdinger. In 2015, stripper A’ziah King — who goes by Zola — told the story, in about 144 tweets, of a strange-but-true trip to Florida with a girl named Stefani; the trip went madly, madly wrong when King discovered Stefani’s “roommate” was actually her pimp. King later admitted some parts of her account were exaggerated, but Zola, directed by Janicza Bravo, is less interested in facts and more in storytelling, and how our perceptions of the characters are affected by who’s telling the story. It’s wild, raunchy, and very funny, with a cast that includes Riley Keough, Colman Domingo, Nicholas Braun (a.k.a. Succession’s Cousin Greg), and a marvelous Taylour Paige, plus a screenplay by Bravo and Slave Play writer Jeremy O. Harris. Zola will be released later this yearby A24.
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