The House


David Fincher

1. "David Fincher Interview." Ahead of his highly anticipated adaptation of Gillian Flynn's psychological best-seller, Gone Girl, LWLies is granted an audience with director David Fincher.

"I can't figure out why other people like it. I know why I like it. I know the things that were interesting that kept coming up in conversations. And then also, to work on a script with the person who wrote the novel, that can be a gift. There can also be a lot of frustration. Or certainly it can be perceived that way. Will this person be able to see the forest for the trees? Or will they be so wed to how difficult it was to make this storyline work that they're not willing to jettison certain elements when it doesn't? I know that's a commonly-held philosophy about novelists. But with Gillian, it couldn't be further from the truth. She has—and David Koepp has it too—that love of where the audience is in the narrative. She was very good at taking things that were 13 chapters into the book and saying, well that could be in the introduction. She picked out the traits that needed to be dramatised, but didn't necessarily put them in the same chronological order."

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TAGS: bilge ebiri, claire denis, david fincher, david lynch, eraserhead, gone girl, jacob hall, little white lies, netflix, sam adams, screncrush, the hunger games: mockingjay, the texas chainsaw massacre, tobe hooper, wim wenders


Robin Thicke

1. "Robin Thicke Admits Drug Abuse, Lying to Media in Wild 'Blurred Lines' Deposition (Exclusive)." Interrogated for allegedly ripping off Marvin Gaye, the singer attempts a rock 'n' roll defense: "I didn't do a single interview last year without being high"

"Thicke says he was just 'lucky enough to be in the room' when [Pharrell] Williams wrote the song. Afterward, he gave interviews to outlets like Billboard where he repeated the false origin story surrounding 'Blurred Lines' because he says he 'thought it would help sell records.' But he also states he hardly remembers his specific media comments because he 'had a drug and alcohol problem for the year' and 'didn't do a sober interview.' In fact, when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show with his young son and talked about how weird it was to be in the midst of a legal battle with the family of a legendary soul singer who 'inspires almost half of my music,' Thicke admits he was drunk and taking Norco—'which is like two Vicodin in one pill,' he says."

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TAGS: alaska, annette insdorf, blurred lines, canon, jewish, jonathan glazer, leonard maltin, matt zoller seitz, poland, rape, Robin Thicke, rogerebert.com, tony auth


The Imitation Game

1. "The Imitation Game wins Toronto top prize." The Alan Turing biopic has won the People's Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival.

"Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the drama about the British code breaker who helped decrypt the Enigma machine during World War Two. In a message, director Morten Tyldum said it was 'an amazing honour' to win the prize. 'For film fans to support The Imitation Game means so much to me, the entire cast and film-making team,' he said. Turing was credited with bringing about the end of the war and saving hundreds of thousands of lives after decoding German Naval messages. He is also considered to be the founding father of the modern-day computer. However his later life was overshadowed after a conviction in 1952 for gross indecency when homosexuality was illegal in Britain. He was chemically castrated and committed suicide in 1954. Earlier this week Tyldum described the film as 'a tribute to being different'."

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TAGS: a.o. scott, Adam Sternbergh, alan turing, amy taubin, andrew o'hehir, benedict cumberbatch, david fincher, film comment, gone girl, lena dunham, serena, slate, the imitation game, toronto international film festival, vulture


ISIS

1. "Legal Authority for Fighting ISIS." The New York Times editorial board hammers Congress, Obama over ISIS war.

"The cowardice in Congress, never to be underestimated, is outrageous. Some lawmakers have made it known that they would rather not face a war authorization vote shortly before midterm elections, saying they'd rather sit on the fence for a while to see whether an expanded military campaign starts looking like a success story or a debacle. By avoiding responsibility, they allow President Obama free rein to set a dangerous precedent that will last well past this particular military campaign. Mr. Obama, who has spent much of his presidency seeking to wean the United States off a perpetual state of war, is now putting forward unjustifiable interpretations of the executive branch's authority to use military force without explicit approval from Congress."

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TAGS: apple, barack obama, cannes film festival, forbes, Isis, jessie ware, lars von trier, luke white, metamorphosis, new york magazine, nick pinkerton, nymphomaniac, remi weekes, reverse shot, say you love me, snowpiercer, songs of innocence, stray dogs, tell no one, the new york times, tsai ming-liang, u2, venice film festival


John Hamm

1. "The Death of Adulthood in American Culture." A.O. Scott on Tony Soprano, Walter White and Don Draper, the last of the patriarchs.

"The widespread hunch that Mad Men will end with its hero’s death is what you might call overdetermined. It does not arise only from the internal logic of the narrative itself, but is also a product of cultural expectations. Something profound has been happening in our television over the past decade, some end-stage reckoning. It is the era not just of mad men, but also of sad men and, above all, bad men. Don is at once the heir and precursor to Tony Soprano (fig. 2), that avatar of masculine entitlement who fended off threats to the alpha-dog status he had inherited and worked hard to maintain. Walter White, the protagonist of Breaking Bad, struggled, early on, with his own emasculation and then triumphantly (and sociopathically) reasserted the mastery that the world had contrived to deny him. The monstrousness of these men was inseparable from their charisma, and sometimes it was hard to tell if we were supposed to be rooting for them or recoiling in horror. We were invited to participate in their self-delusions and to see through them, to marvel at the mask of masculine competence even as we watched it slip or turn ugly. Their deaths were (and will be) a culmination and a conclusion: Tony, Walter and Don are the last of the patriarchs."

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TAGS: a.o. scott, amy nicholson, bill hader, breaking bad, comic books, mad men, matt zoller seitz, new york film festival, robert christgau, robin williams, the skeleton twins, the sopranos


Noam Chomsky

1. "Are We Approaching the End of Human History?" Noam Chomsky on how the likely end of civilization is foreshadowed in a new draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

"The land of the Tigris and Euphrates has been the scene of unspeakable horrors in recent years. The George W. Bush-Tony Blair aggression in 2003, which many Iraqis compared to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, was yet another lethal blow. It destroyed much of what survived the Bill Clinton-driven U.N. sanctions on Iraq, condemned as 'genocidal' by the distinguished diplomats Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, who administered them before resigning in protest. Halliday and von Sponeck's devastating reports received the usual treatment accorded to unwanted facts."

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TAGS: Ariel Pink, as the gods will, boardwalk empire, darren franich, entertainment weekly, hbo, janay palmer, jesse singal, Noam Chomsky, pitchfork, ray rice, santiago hernandez, takashi miike, the leftovers, tim goodman


Jack the Ripper

1. "Jack the Ripper was Polish 23-year-old barber Aaron Kosminski, new book claims." DNA evidence from victim Catherine Eddowes' shawl was used for the research.

"Jack the Ripper was a 23-year-old Polish immigrant called Aaron Kosminski, according to an author claiming to have exposed the serial killer's true identity using DNA evidence. Russell Edwards, who describes himself as an 'armchair detective', believes he has identified the Victorian murderer for the first time after more than 120 years of mystery. He said Kosminski, who died in an asylum, was 'definitely, categorically and absolutely' the man behind the grisly killing spree in 1888 in Whitechapel. Police had identified Kosminski as a suspect, Mr Edwards said, but never had enough evidence to bring him to trial. Chief Inspector Donald Swanson, who led the investigation, recorded a suspect named 'Kosminski' in contemporary notes, saying he was a low-class Polish Jew and had family living in Whitechapel."

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TAGS: aaron cutler, channing tatum, Chuck Wilson, dick graze, dna, fritz lang, harun farocki, jack the ripper, kevin b. lee, new beverly cinema, Peggy Lee, quentin tarantino, reese witherspoon, the village voice, todd haynes, toronto international film festival


The Hitch-Hiker

1. "The 25 Best Films Directed by Female Film Directors." Over at Raindance, a thoughtful—if too-eager-to-be-inclusive (An Education? Really?)—ranking of the best films by female directors.

"Studies show that half of all film school graduates are women, yet only 5% of them are working Hollywood directors. This is not only a problem in Hollywood, but everywhere in the world. There's prejudice and difficulties akin to them, common stories of declined financing help and even production interruptions due to certain chosen themes and subjects in their work. There are exceptions to the rule that are forgotten, and others that are now breaking through. Although many who are active today seek refuge in independent filmmaking, TV and online media, they are—increasingly so—receiving more attention. The current list gathers some of the most prominent female filmmakers in the history of film, and the movies that made them so inspiring."

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TAGS: american horror story: freak show, david bordwell, ida lupino, Isis, jane campion, knight of cups, leni riefenstahl, lina wertmuller, nick pinkerton, randy kennedy, slavoj žižek, sofia coppola, terrence malick, the new york times, vivian maier


Joan Rivers

1. "Joan Rivers, a Comic Stiletto Quick to Skewer, Is Dead at 81." The comedy pioneer and TV host died yesterday after spending a week in a medically-induced coma.

"Joan Rivers, the raspy loudmouth who pounced on America's obsessions with flab, face-lifts, body hair and other blemishes of neurotic life, including her own, in five decades of caustic comedy that propelled her from nightclubs to television to international stardom, died on Thursday in Manhattan. She was 81. Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, confirmed her death. A spokeswoman, Judy Katz, said the cause had not yet been determined. Ms. Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she had been taken last Thursday from an outpatient surgery clinic after going into cardiac arrest and losing consciousness, the authorities said. The State Health Department is investigating the circumstances that led to her death, a state official said Thursday. Ms. Rivers had been in the clinic for a minor procedure on her vocal cords, according to a spokesman. Her daughter said Tuesday that her mother was on life support and Wednesday that she was out of intensive care."

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TAGS: academy awards, Donatas Banionis, eden, empire records, flavorwire, ignatiy vishnevetsky, jason bailey, joan rivers, mia hansen-løve, michael sicinski, mubi, toronto international film festival


Hanna

1. "Sugar, Spice and Guts." A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis on representation of female characters in movies and how it's improving.

"Journey is one of the most overused words in movie-speak. One reason are guides like Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting That You'll Ever Need! that borrow heavily from Joseph Campbell, who wrote that whether the hero is 'ridiculous or sublime, Greek or barbarian, gentile or Jew, his journey varies little in essential plan.' Too bad that in Campbell's 'monomyth' that journey is also unequivocally male: 'The woman is life, the hero its knower and master.' The classic trip has been so historically male that one critic, Eric Leed, gave it a biological spin, labeling it a 'spermatic journey.' Never mind that every so often a girl or woman—Dorothy, Thelma, Louise or Hushpuppy—hits the road. She gets out of the house and, like a footloose Penelope, weaves an adventure instead of a shroud."

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TAGS: a.o. scott, alex pappademas, grantland, leonard maltin, manohla dargis, movie guide, nicolle wallace, Patton Oswalt, raymond durgnat, rosie perez, the view, twitter, wesley morris






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