1. From the House staff to all our readers: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
2. "James Brown Dies": From complications incurred while filming Rocky IV.
["James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms led to rap, funk and disco, has died aged 73. He was taken to hospital in Atlanta with acute pneumonia but the cause of death has not been established, his agent, Frank Copsidas, said. Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At least one generation idolised him and sometimes openly copied him."]
3. "Further Fodder": Film Comment readers respond to Paul Schrader's "Film Canon" article.
["But Mr. Schrader should fret less about the impossibility of setting a canon that will remain canonical. Canons always change to reflect evolving tastes. Vermeer was neglected for centuries and moved into the art historical canon less than a hundred years ago. Winckelmann's epitome of the classical aesthetic was the Apollo Belvedere, now viewed as a Hellenistic pastiche for Roman patrons. And Roman architecture, once viewed as an undifferentiated extension of Greek architecture, came to be admired for its raw expression of structure in the early 20th century, when modern architects were pursuing similar goals, while today we acknowledge that the plaster and painted decorations conveniently ignored for so long really made these buildings more like Beaux Arts painted ladies than anyone previously cared to admit."]
4. "Canonical Loose Ends": And Schrader's response to his readers.
["The omission of Rossellini was a major boo-boo. I'd sent a copy of the manuscript to Michel Ciment of Positif who objected to my inclusion of The Battle of Algiers at the expense of Salvatore Guiliano. Rosi's film, Ciment implored, was not only the father of both Battle of Algiers and Z but better than either of them. I realized how right he was and asked Film Comment to replace Algiers with Salvatore, but through some mix-up it replaced Voyage in Italy instead. Rossellini is essential to any Canon, especially mine."]
5. "Ignorance or Arrogance: What Hollywood Has to Learn from the Extinction of the Incan Empire": From the BRAINTRUSTdv website.
["In 1993, a Northeastern University undergraduate student with an affinity for the band Phish wrote a software application which allowed an online network of friends to share MP3 files. The student, Shawn Fanning, wrote the shareware application he called Napster for his friends who shared similar musical interests. The application spread across the web like wildfire. Unknowingly, Fanning and his small group of friends had launched a revolution against an empire: the recording industry."]
"Links for the Day": Each morning, the House editors post a series of weblinks that we think will spark discussion. Comments encouraged.