The House


Game of Thrones

1. "Rape of Thrones." Why are the Game of Thrones showrunners rewriting the books into misogyny?

"It seems more likely that Game of Thrones is falling into the same trap that so much television does—exploitation for shock value. And, in particular, the exploitation of women's bodies. This is a show that inspired the term 'sexposition,' and a show that may have created a character who is a prostitute so as to set as many scenes as possible in brothels. And though it has done both those things with surprising grace, it's still making a play for male viewers who want skin. Because unlike Ginia Bellafante, in her infamous pre-air review of the series in The New York Times, I don’t think the sex is there to 'patronizingly' draw in female viewers—I think it's there to reel in the all-important male demographic."

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TAGS: brian williams, game of thrones, george r. r. martin, gin and juice, j. hoberman, julia roberts, lindsay, lindsay lohan, ms. 45, rich juzwiak, sonia saraiya, the king of comedy


Snatch

1. "Building a Bigger Action Hero" A mere six-pack doesn't cut it in Hollywood anymore. Today's male stars need 5 percent body fat, massive pecs, and the much-coveted inguinal crease—regardless of what it takes to get there.

"The last-minute pump comes right before the cameras roll. Philip Winchester, the hero of Cinemax's action series Strike Back, recalls seeing the technique for the first time on the set of Snatch: 'Hundreds of extras were standing around,' he recalls, 'and Brad Pitt would drop down and do 25 push-ups before each scene. I thought, "Why is he showing off?"' Then Winchester figured it out. 'I realized he was just jacking himself up: getting blood flowing to the muscles. I'd always wondered, "How do actors look so jacked all the time?" Well, they don't. Now we ask: Is it a push-up scene? When I shot that Strike Back poster, I was doing push-ups like a madman, saying, "Take the picture now! Take it now!"'"

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TAGS: film comment, hateful eight, hbo, j. hoberman, kim morgan, lindsay, lindsay lohan, manakamana, nick pinkerton, quentin tarantino, true blood


Gabriel García Márquez

1. "Gabriel García Márquez R.I.P." The conjurer of literary magic, and Nobel laureate, dies at 87.

"Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose One Hundred Years of Solitude established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87. Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House, confirmed the death. Mr. García Márquez learned he had lymphatic cancer in 1999, and a brother said in 2012 that he had developed senile dementia. Mr. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers—Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them—who were embraced both by critics and by a mass audience."

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TAGS: beards, bob's burgers, gabriel garcía márquez, ira sachs, james gray, jonathan demme, love is strange, rich juzwiak, roger corman, the immigrant


Foxcatcher

1. "Cannes Film Festival Unveils Star-Studded Lineup for 67th Edition." Films from Tommy Lee Jones, Bennett Miller, David Cronenberg, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Hazanavicius, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh will all compete for the Palme d'Or.

"Tommy Lee Jones' The Homesman, Moneyball director Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher, The Artist director Michel Hazanavicius' Chechnya war film The Search, Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall and David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars will all be part of the competition lineup of the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in May. The lineup is heavy on films featuring Hollywood and international stars, but somewhat light on U.S. directors. Overall, 18 films, down from 20 last year, will compete for the festival's main award, the Palme d'Or. One film could be added, organizers said. The opening film, Olivier Dahan's Grace of Monaco, will screen out of competition. Other competition titles include Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner about the classic painter, Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent, Two Days, One Night from Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who are competing for Dardenne's third Palme d'Or win, Canadian director Atom Egoyan's The Captive, Japanese director Naomi Kawase's Still the Water and Timbuktu from Abderrahmane Sissako. Plus, the living legend of French cinema, Jean-Luc Godard, will be back in competition and on the Croisette with his latest work, Goodbye to Language."

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TAGS: 8 mile, bennett miller, bilge ebiri, cannes film festival, david cronenberg, jean-luc godard, jon hamm, jon jost, ken loach, mark rappaport, michel hazanavicius, mike leigh, only lovers left alive, ray carney, sesame street, streaming music, tommy lee jones, under the skin


Grave of the Fireflies

1. "The 100 Best Animated Movies." World-famous animators pick the best animated movies ever, including Disney and Pixar movies, cult movies, kids movies, stop-motion, anime and more.

"Chances are the first movie you ever saw was animation. Exuberant, colorful and full of wonder, animation is the stuff of childhood. It introduces us to the magic of cinema, and there's no doubt that, as we researched the 100 best animated movies of all time, the nostalgia factor was overwhelming. Then again, as we polled over 100 experts in the field—from directors like Fantastic Mr. Fox's Wes Anderson, Ice Age and Rio's Carlos Saldanha, Wallace & Gromit's Nick Park, to critics and hardcore fans alike—it became clear that animation doesn't just mean kids and family movies. Worldwide innovators have adapted the form to include action, politics, race and sex. Animation has grown up, sometimes uneasily, right before our eyes. We know you'll find something to love in our authoritative ranking of the best animated movies ever made. The timeless Disney classics. The best Pixar films. Brilliantly sophisticated modern works from Japan's cottage industry, anime, and especially from its Studio Ghibli. Films that make you weep, laugh, sing along and wish upon stars. Take some time to check out our contributors' personal lists, each one an invitation to further explore avenues of stop-motion, computer-generated imagery or good old pen-and-ink fantasy. Let us know what you think, in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. Did we get it wrong or leave out an essential title? One thing is certain: Animation is an endless well of fun. We're sure it goes deeper."

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TAGS: abbas kiarostami, animation, anthony mann, cannes film festival, Carlos Saldanha, chris marker, david fincher, fantastic mr. fox, gone girl, ice age, imogen sara smith, nick park, pixar, rio, studio ghibli, wallace & gromit, walt disney, wes anderson


Donna Tartt

1. "List of 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners." The 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists, and the judges' comments.

"Criticism: Inga Saffron of The Philadelphia Inquirer for her criticism of architecture that blends expertise, civic passion and sheer readability into arguments that consistently stimulate and surprise. Finalists: Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times for her trenchant and witty television criticism, engaging readers through essays and reviews that feature a conversational style and the force of fresh ideas; and Jen Graves of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly, for her visual arts criticism that, with elegant and vivid description, informs readers about how to look at the complexities of contemporary art and the world in which it's made."

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TAGS: adam nayman, amazon, anne rice, cameron crowe, donna tartt, inga saffron, linda holmes, milton keynes, noah berlatsky, paul verhoeven, pulitzer prize, Say Anything, scarlett johansson, showgirls, under the skin


Zac Efron

1. "2014 MTV Movie Awards: Here Are The Real Winners And Losers. Victory is about so much more than a trophy.

"By the time you read this, the 2014 MTV Movie Awards will be over: the trophies dispensed, the house cleared out and the many celebs in attendance off to either celebrate their successes or nurse the wounds of defeat. And if you've taken a peek at the night's final list of winners, you might even think that you know exactly who in Hollywood should be doing a victory dance until dawn. But you'd be wrong! Because just because somebody took home a Golden Popcorn, that doesn't mean they won the MTV Movie Awards. That's something else entirely! No, there are true winners (and losers for that matter). So who were the actual champions, and who should we seriously feel sorry for?"

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TAGS: alex pappademas, black and white, bookstores, cindy sherman, crossroads film festival, james franco, michael sicinski, mtv movie awards, nicolas cage, spark trailers, zac efron


Stephen Colbert

1. "Colbert Will Host 'Late Show,' Playing Himself for a Change." CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of its late-night franchise, which Mr. Letterman created when he came to the network in 1993.

"Mr. Colbert, the star of Comedy Central's 'Colbert Report,' will be—in one way—an all-new talent for CBS because he will drop the broadly satirical blowhard conservative character he has played for nine years, and instead perform as himself. Mr. Colbert became the immediate front-runner for the position both because of an increasing recognition of his talent--his show won two Emmy Awards last year—and because he clearly wanted the job. His representation had ensured that he would be available to CBS by syncing his recent contracts with Mr. Letterman's."

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TAGS: ayaan hirsi ali, boyhood, brandeis university, christopher evan welch, comedy central, david letterman, Mickey Rooney, nirvana, Olivia de Havilland, richard linklater, rock and roll hall of fame, silicon valley, stephen colbert


Roman Polanski

1. "Roman Polanski Talks His Life and Career, Venus in Fur and Retirement." Scott Foundas speaks with the legendary filmmaker.

"The story is a diabolically clever two-hander that Polanski adapted with the playwright David Ives from [David] Ives' 2010 New York stage hit. 'I just thought it was a terrific text,' says Polanski. 'First, the humor of it. But then the sort of anti-macho spirit of it, and the richness of the allusions.' The director first read Ives' play in his hotel room during the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where his Oscar-winning 1979 Thomas Hardy adaptation, Tess, was being screened in a restored print. 'This might be up your alley,' Polanski remembers his longtime agent, Jeff Berg, telling him. As it turns out, Berg was right."

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TAGS: american blogger, anne helen petersen, bamcinématek, broad city, christopher wiegand, darren aronofsky, david ives, ilana glazer, josef von sternberg, lykke li, marlene dietrich, no rest for the wicked, noah, phillip maciak, richard brody, roman polanski, scott foundas, stephanie zacharek, venus in fur


9/11 Memorial

1. "Classicist says quote of Virgil's inscribed on 9/11 Memorial is 'shockingly inappropriate.'" The inscription, from Virgil's The Aeneid, is more than just grim.

"As the New York Times' David W. Dunlap points out, Virgil's 'you' actually refers to the characters, Nisus and Euryalus, two warrior-lovers who 'have just slaughtered the enemy in an orgy of violence, skewering soldiers whom [they] ambushed in their sleep.' And for this massacre, Nisus and Euryalus are killed, their heads impaled on spears. Of the inscription at the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Helen Morales, a classicist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told the Times, 'If we take into account its original context, the quotation is more applicable to the aggressors in the 9/11 tragedy than those honored by the memorial...So my first reaction is that the quotation is shockingly inappropriate for the U.S. victims of the 9/11 attack.'"

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TAGS: 911, billboard music awards, daryl hannah, david w. dunlap, drag, eldorado, helen morales, imagine dragons, justin timberlake, kansas city, katy perry, lorde, macklemore & ryan lewis, midnight rider, neighbors, peter o'toole, richard driscoll, rihanna, Sarah Jones, sylvester mccoy, the aeneid, the new york times, virgil






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