Don’t ask the Coen brothers about TV. They’re not watching.

Joel and Ethan Coen are presidents of the jury that will decide the Cannes Film Festival top honor, the Palme d’Or. Introducing their jury, which includes actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Guillermo del Toro, the filmmaking brothers confessed Wednesday that they remain outsiders to the rise of TV dramas.

“It’s not that I don’t like TV,” said Ethan Coen. “It’s alien to me. I haven’t watched a television show in decades.”

Joel suggested he was no less familiar, despite his wife, Frances McDormand, recently starring in the acclaimed HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.”

The Coens’ 1996 film “Fargo” was turned into the FX series, but with little input from them.

On the increase of new digital avenues like Netflix for movie watching, Joel wasn’t enthusiastic.

“How do we feel about people watching ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on their iPhone?” he said, rephrasing a question about digital media. “There’s something special about sitting with a big crowd of people watching a movie on a big 80-foot screen.”

Shakopee speller still a winner

A Shakopee eighth-grader was eliminated before placing in the money during Wednesday’s finals of the 27th annual National Geographic Bee in Washington, D.C. The national competition began Monday, when 14-year-old Shreyas Varathan and 53 other kids, ages 10-14, were tested on their global knowledge in hopes of capturing the top prize, a $50,000 scholarship and a trip with a parent or guardian to the Galápagos aboard the National Geographic Endeavour. The national title Wednesday went to Karan Menon, of New Jersey. Shreyas, who attends Shakopee Area Catholic School, won the state geography bee in late March. To earn the top 10 berth, he correctly answered: “Name the peninsula in present-day Turkey, on the northern side of the Dardanelles, that was the site of a hard-fought campaign during World War I.” Answer: Gallipoli Peninsula. There has been one national champion from Minnesota. Nathan Cornelius, a home-schooled seventh-grader Cottonwood, took the honors in 2005.

Paul Walsh


Vegas gig: Jennifer Lopez is heading to Sin City. The pop star announced on “American Idol” that she is heading to Las Vegas next year for a residency at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino beginning Jan. 20, 2016. The first 20 performances go on sale Saturday. Lopez follows in the footsteps of fellow pop stars Mariah Carey and Britney Spears, who also launched Vegas residencies.

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