Our Racist Dogs by Kelly Mays McDonald [The Awl] Why do certain dogs attack certain people? Because they’re weaponized.
“Weaponized dogs are ever-present in humanity’s long legacy of colonialism and slavery. They have fought alongside many instances of human atrocity to perpetrate acts of physical and psychological violence that supersede the scope of a simple gunshot. European colonizers of the New World notably trained their dogs to “relish Indian flesh” by explicitly feeding them the bodies of the victims after a battle. Throughout America’s early history, slave masters and bounty hunters adopted bloodhounds as the primary means of tracking down runaway slaves by scent, which is widely depicted in popular media. What is left out of the popular narrative, however, is the fact that when they encountered people on the run, the dogs were often trained to bite and tear the flesh of slaves to hold them there until they could be shot, shackled and dragged back to their masters for public lynchings and beatings.”
The Jungle Book [YouTube] [Trailer] First trailer for Jon Favreau's live-action Disney adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's 'The Jungle Book'. Cast includes Scarlett Johansson as 'Kaa', Bill Murray as 'Baloo', Ben Kingsley as 'Bagheera', Idris Elba as 'Shere Khan', Lupita Nyong'o as 'Raksha', Christopher Walken as 'King Louie', and Neel Sethi as 'Mowgli'.
Omar Sharif, 83, a Star in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago,’ Dies. [New York Times]
Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor who rode out of the desert in the 1962 screen epic “Lawrence of Arabia” into a glamorous if brief reign as an international star in films like “Dr. Zhivago” and “The Night of the Generals,” died on Friday in Cairo. He was 83. His death, at a hospital, was caused by a heart attack, his agent, Steve Kenis, said. Mr. Sharif — who later became as well known for his mastery of bridge as he was for his acting — was a commanding, darkly handsome presence on screen. He was multilingual as well, and comfortable in almost any role or cultural setting.
The End of the Tour [YouTube] [Trailer]
The End of the Tour is based on the true story of David Lipsky, a Rolling Stone reporter who interviewed legendary author David Foster Wallace for five days in 1996. Lipsky catches up with the author as he’s about to hit the final stop on the book tour for the release of Infinite Jest, then and now considered one of the great novels written in our lifetimes. Over the course of the next few days, the reporter develops a complicated relationship with the icon.
A Journey Into the Mind of P. [YouTube]
A documentary, written & directed by Donatello Dubini & Fosco Dubini, mostly on the authors [Thomas Pynchon] reclusivness, how it's been dealt with by some hysterical fans, old friends, critics... containing some interesting interviews & speculations on the themes of Gravity's Rainbow & how they relate to the historical realities of the american fifties & sixties, the paranoid politics of cold war logic, megalomaniac experimental psychology, the callous mindset of military engineering, & so on...[more inside]
The Trouble with Clint by Jacob Krell [Los Angeles Review of Books]
“Clint Eastwood is many things to many people, but contemporary critics tend to agree that he is an auteur, i.e., someone with real directorial insight, care, and reach, someone whose individual artistic stamp can and should be used as a heuristic lens. Insofar as so much of his early career as an actor found him traipsing through the storied landscapes of American westerns and action films, it’s hardly surprising that Eastwood’s own directorial mark is often constituted through toying with genre, as he’s done with the western, to acclaimed effect (Unforgiven); with the boxing drama, to acclaimed (and deeply manipulative) effect (Million Dollar Baby); and with the B-movie, to effect somewhere between perplexing and appalling (Gran Torino).”Previously. Previously. Previously.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Screenplay [.pdf] Warner Bros. has made the For Your Consideration draft of the full screenplay available for download via: indiewire.com.
“Best Before End”: Photographing Energy Drinks [The New Yorker] In “Best Before End,” Stephen Gill in processes film negatives in a variety of popular energy drinks. [more inside]
Inherent Vice trailer: [SLYT] “Inherent Vice” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first film adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel.
When P.I. Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin… well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the `60s, paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is one of those words going around, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s way too overused–except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp–all Thomas Pynchon.
In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real [New York Times] ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO documents an Attack in Kenya.
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back. The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers.[more inside]
Julianne Ross asks: Must Every YA Action Heroine Be Petite? Amy McCarthy asks a similar question: Why do all our young adult heroines look the same? Mandy Stewart also offers up her own advice: Be Divergent and Other Lessons for My Daughter. Interview with Veronica Roth on her book 'Insurgent' and feminism. [more inside]
James Rebhorn, an actor often playing a man in a suit, Dies at 65 after a 12-year struggle with skin cancer.
Mr. Rebhorn had memorable supporting roles in major films and worked consistently in television and theater. He appeared in more than 50 films, including “Meet the Parents,” “Independence Day,” “My Cousin Vinny” and “Cold Mountain.”He penned his own obituary which can be read here.
Happy Thomas Pynchon rumor day! [LAtimes.com] "What's that, you say? America's most reclusive author, Thomas Pynchon, appeared in the news Friday -- not once but twice? Why, yes, yes, he has, surfacing in two unconnected rumours. Conspiracy? Pynchonian? Maybe we should henceforth designate Jan. 4 as Thomas Pynchon Rumor Day." [more inside]
I EXPLAIN CYBERPUNK TO THE MASSES by writer/film critic Anne Billson "Believe it or not, there was a time when people didn't know what "cyberpunk" was, and indeed had probably never even heard the word before this three-minute clip, in which I explain it to them. Sort of. Don't blame me if I got it wrong - you're looking at this with the benefit of hindsight, while I was making it up as I went along..." [Via: Multiglom - The Anne Billson Blog]
"The truth, the absolute truth, is that the chief beauty for the theatre consists in fine bodily proportions."~ Sarah Bernhardt
Derelict Cinemas and Theatres by Adam Slater: Since 2008, Adam Slater has been on a quest to photograph Britain’s abandoned and derelict cinemas and theatres before they are gone for good. Below are some examples from his astonishing set of beautiful yet grotesque ruins, which you can see in full on his flickr page. His blog, Reality Trip, features more fantastic photographs of old power stations, quarries and more. Be sure to check it out. [kubrickontheguillotine.com]
Softening and sexualizing Lisbeth Salander: David Fincher's casting for Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo examined.
What's it like to have your film flop at the box office? "When you work "above the line" on a movie (writer, director, actor, producer, etc.) watching it flop at the box office is devastating. I had such an experience during the opening weekend of Conan the Barbarian 3D."
Are Female Music Geeks a Trend in the Movies? [SLVimeo] Exploring a possible emerging trend in contemporary films. Courtesy of Metafilter's own dbarefoot.
The five stages of Star Wars fandom grief. [Slate.com]
Clint Eastwood as Superman or James Bond? ‘It could have happened.’
Dear M. Night Shyamalan, Sincerely, Omer Mozaffar.
1884: Yesterday's Future. A story of outstanding heroism in the face of deception, subterfuge and treachery. Conjuring up the belief that it was made forty years before film was even invented, 1884: Yesterdays Future tells of a future that might have been but never was. Directed by Tim Ollive, the film is a mix of animation, puppetry and two dimensional and three dimensional computer generated imagery (CGI) set against backgrounds created using stunning artwork, model sets and period photographs from the Hulton Picture Library division of Getty Images. [more inside]