Rock's Big Bounce

Have you ever been outside in 41-degree heat? The air is crushing. You dehydrate instantly. You fantasize about cooler places, like Arizona. In 41-degree heat, the average indie-rock fan--thin, brittle, white as chalk--will spontaneously burst into flames.

Rock's Big Bounce

Have you ever been outside in 106-degree heat? The air is crushing. You dehydrate instantly. You fantasize about cooler places, like Arizona. In 106-degree heat, the average indie-rock fan--thin, brittle, white as chalk--will spontaneously burst into flames.

Olympics: Thorpedo--Still Afloat

The Thorpedo has sunk one of his own. After a false-start disqualification at Australia's Olympic trials in March, swimming phenom Ian Thorpe, who won three gold medals at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, appeared to be foiled in his quest to defend his victory in the 400-meter freestyle, his best event, at the Athens Games in August.

HERE COMES YOUR BAND

The late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain once said of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the most famous song he ever wrote, "Basically, I was trying to rip off the Pixies." A few months after Cobain copped to the theft, the Pixies broke up. (Blew apart is more like it: frontman Black Francis, a.k.a.

THE GOOD GIRL

Movie stars don't do bicycles. Once you achieve a certain level of stature in Hollywood, you get ferried around sets in a golf cart or a limo with tinted windows.

NEWSMAKERS

Q&A: David CarradineAfter three years of walking the earth in the early '70s TV series "Kung Fu," David Carradine vanished into a straight-to-video career.

SPORTS: SHALL WE DANCE?

If it's March, it must be college-hoops time--that manic moment in the year when grown men blow an entire day of work poring over a single piece of paper covered with words like "Zona," "GaTech" and "Mizzou." Last year's NCAA tournament foiled even the sharpest prognosticators because a single player, Syracuse freshman phenom Carmelo Anthony, carried his team to the title.

SYNAPSE CRACKLE POP

One of the drawbacks of being a movie actor is that you might someday have to watch yourself run. Jim Carrey is facing such a moment right now, and he's not proud of what he sees.

MOVIES: HERE'S THE 'ANTI-CHRIST'

Call the Broken Lizard Comedy Troupe goofy. Call them low-brow. But don't call them cowards. Each weekend in Hollywood is a box-office grudge match, but this coming weekend is about as strange as it gets.

Spoiling the Surprises

It may come as shock to readers to learn that every once in a while--a very long, long while--journalists are wrong. Even entertainment journalists. Even NEWSWEEK entertainment journalists.

WHEN HETEROS ATTACK: A 'STRAIGHT PLAN FOR THE GAY

Now here's a reality show we never saw coming. "Straight Plan for the Gay Man" is Comedy Central's cute, role-reversing spoof of Bravo's makeover hit, and there's one other major change: "Queer Eye" has five experts, while "Straight Plan" makes do with four.

THE PLAYERS: FIVE AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

In case you haven't caught the latest efforts by the participants in our round table, here's what you're missing. And if you're really behind, a brief biography of each director.'The Return of the King': In the dazzling, impassioned finale of the Middle-earth trilogy, the reluctant leader Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) rises to confront a final assault by Sauron's evil army, while a pair of hobbits, Frodo and Sam (Elijah Wood and Sean Astin), continue their quest to destroy an all-powerful ring.

SUNDANCE '04: NOW TERROR'S AT SEA

So the "Blair Witch" directors got some actors lost in the woods and made creepy noises around their campsite. Big deal. In the history of "I dare you" filmmaking, it's possible that no movie has approached the insanity of writer-director Chris Kentis's 2004 Sundance Film Festival entry, "Open Water," about a scuba-diving couple stranded in shark-infested waters after their chartered boat leaves without them.

HAPPY GO LARRY

He is going to hate this piece. He hasn't read a word of it yet, obviously, but his ambivalence is in the air somehow. For example, there was the time he said, "I'm going to hate this piece you're doing now." It was June 2003.

How 'The Matrix' Lost Its Mojo

In November 2002, after spending four days with the main "Matrix" team in Los Angeles and two more with its visual effects crew in Alameda, Calif., I wrote a story for NEWSWEEK's Who's Next special report that marveled at the potential greatness of the forthcoming sequels, "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions." I didn't actually view either of the entire films--it was too early for that, but I hung out with the costume designer, the production designer, the special-effects...

Guiding Actors Through Hell And Back

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is more articulate in his second language, English, than most people are in their first, but it's easy to make his fluency vanish.

Meet The Titans Of Taste

Paola AntonelliCURATOR, MUSEUM OF MODERN ARTHer criterion is simple: "I try to decide," says Paola Antonelli, curator of architecture and design at New York's MoMA, "whether the space an object occupies on Earth is well used." If that sounds like a high bar to clear, just look at what Antonelli is holding.

It's A Digital Life: Dvds For Everyone

The sudden explosion of DVDs took many of us by surprise, which may explain why some consumers are still making curious choices for their home libraries. Why, exactly, is anyone buying the DVD version of "2 Fast 2 Furious"?

Dvds: No--Praise You, Spike

For years, music-video directors have gotten a bum rap--they're all flash, no substance, and they grow up to become lousy movie directors. The trouble is, almost every truly innovative filmmaker these days breaks into the biz with music videos, so the rap is a bit like slagging a butterfly for starting out as a caterpillar.

Newsmakers

Ready to RumbleLast month NEWSWEEK was keen to interview Liza Minnelli. She was filming a guest spot on a Fox sitcom, and a Broadway musical about her ex-husband Peter Allen was set to open.

Our Life As A House

Living Room: Simply RedEd and Becky Fotheringham's 1926 farmhouse in Seattle's Phinney Ridge isn't big--about 1,750 square feet. And they're not rich. He's a freelance illustrator from Australia.

Meet The Titans Of Taste

The Philosopher KingWalking into Murray Moss's celebrated downtown Manhattan housewares store, moss, is like walking into a museum. There are pristine white walls and objects--from Delft pottery to designer toilet-paper holders--in locked glass cases.

Movies: A Woman On The Verge Of A Breakthrough

Back in January, Patricia Clarkson got to be queen for a day. Actually, for about six days. At the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, Clarkson starred in just about every good movie in competition (OK, four), won a special jury prize for her work and spent the week as the toast of Park City, Utah.

Jumpin' Jack Black

Hey, Jack. Jack!" A woman with a baby stroller is trying to get Jack Black's attention as he waits in line at a midtown Manhattan burger joint. "I've got a blast from the past for you," she says as he wheels around. "OK," he answers. "Hit me." The woman tosses out the name of someone Black apparently knew in high school. "No way," Black says. "Wow.

Hey, God, It's Me, Joan

CBS's spiritually inclined new show "Joan of Arcadia" ponders the same theological conundrum raised by the noted pop philosopher Joan Osborne in her 1995 hit song "What If God Was One of Us?" Osborne's tune is the theme music for the show and, it would appear, the blueprint for the entire story.

Newsmakers

Project GreenhornsIt's a measure of Matt Damon's and Ben Affleck's celebrity that these best-friends-4-ever can make news without doing anything. The hottest play in New York now is an off-off-off Broadway production called "Matt & Ben," a spoof set in 1995, when they were struggling actors living in Boston.

The Day That Didn't Change Hollywood

By now, it's no great revelation to say that the 9/11 effect--the term we used in those sensitive months after the attacks to describe all the shifts we anticipated in our lives and our thinking--never really happened, at least not in the world of mainstream film.We believed, briefly, that movies were going to be less frivolous.

Confessions Of An Emo Punk

Chris Carrabba, a.k.a. Dashboard Confessional, the punk-acoustic grassroots phenomenon, is a passing fad. That should draw the hate mail. But don't shoot the messenger.

Freakin' Amazing

Late one night about a year ago, Jamie Lee Curtis was falling asleep when the phone startled her. It was her agent calling. Just days before shooting, he told her, Annette Bening had to drop out of Disney's forthcoming remake of the 1976 body-swapping classic "Freaky Friday." "Oh, and now I suppose they're offering it to me?" Curtis asked, rolling her eyes.

BEAUTIFUL LOSER

Life is sweet when you're "that guy in that movie." The money is good. The hours are nothing. And you get all the best lines in the script. You can do an interview in dumpy jeans and an old T shirt because, really, who cares?

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