The House


Carol

1. "Inside Out, Carol and Macbeth Highlight the 2015 Cannes Film Festival Selections." Gus Van Sant's The Sea of Trees and Denis Villeneuve's Sicario both in competition.

"Once again, the world is coming to Cannes and with it some of the more anticipated films of the year. Festival du Cannes President Pierre Lescure and General Delgate (aka Festival Director) Thierry Fremaux revealed this year's main competition and Un Certain Regard slates during a long and rambling press conference early this morning and a number of American auteurs are once again in the mix. Todd Haynes' Carol with Cate Blancehtt, Gus Van Sant's Sea of Trees with Matthew McConaughey, Woody Allen's Irrational Man with Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, Pixar's Inside Out, Denis Villeneuve's Sicario with Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, Justin Kurzel's Macbeth with Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman's A Tale of Love and Darkness are some of the initial highlights from today's announcement that will perk the ears of American audiences."

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TAGS: andrew bujalski, barack obama, cannes film festival, carol, denis villeneuve, elizabeth warren, glaad, gus van sant, justified, kanye west, matt barone, matt zoller seitz, narendra modi, results, sicario, the den, the sea of trees, time magazine, todd haynes, unfriended, wired


Percy Sledge

1. "Percy Sledge Dies at 74." The R&B singer, whose soulful ballad of eternal love and rejection, "When a Man Loves a Woman," topped the charts in 1966, dies on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, LA.

"Mr. Sledge, sometimes called the King of Slow Soul, was a sentimental crooner and one of the South's first soul stars, having risen to fame from jobs picking cotton and working as a hospital orderly while performing at clubs and colleges on the weekends. 'I was singing every style of music: the Beatles, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Motown, Sam Cooke, the Platters,' he once said. 'When a Man Loves a Woman' was his first recording for Atlantic Records, after a patient at the hospital introduced him to the record producer Quin Ivy. It reached No. 1 on the pop charts in 1966 and sold more than a million copies, becoming the label's first gold record. (The Recording Industry Association of America began certifying records as gold in 1958.) Raw and lovelorn, the song was a response to a woman who had left him for another man, Mr. Sledge said. He called its composition a 'miracle.'"

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TAGS: adrian martin, coachella, eric hynes, fandor, ian cohen, journey to italy, julian baggini, l'atalante, percy sledge, Peter Singer, pitchfork, reverse shot, slavoj žižek, suffragette, true false film festival, when a man loves a woman


Orson Welles

1. "The Epic Story of Orson Welles's Unfinished Masterpiece." For Vanity Fair, Josh Karp reveals why Welles's last movie, The Other Side of the Wind, is the stuff of legend.

"Orson would stalk the set, looking through a circle made with his fingers and explaining precisely which lens and focal length he wanted. Without ever peering through a camera, he always seemed to know which image would be captured, and those who did as they were told wound up doing the best camerawork of their lives. Conceptually, it seemed, Orson used each frame of film as an easel on which he was creating individual works of art that he would then string together in a way that multiplied their impact. 'The concepts Orson had for shots were utterly astounding,' said crew member Eric Sherman. 'And each shot had something to do with the larger creation.' But still, there were times when even Orson was overwhelmed by executing his own vision, once waving off [Gary] Graver's idea for capturing an image they'd tried to shoot over and over. 'No, Gary,' Welles said. 'God doesn't want me to make this shot.'"

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TAGS: art of the real, clouds of sils maria, elisabeth subrin, ex machina, josh karp, monty python, orson welles, peter morgan, richard brody, shulamith firestone, shulie, stephen daldry, stephen hawking, the audience, the longest ride, the other side of the wind, toni morrison, vanity fair, wesley morris, zoë heller


Günter Grass

1. "Günter Grass, author of The Tin Drum, is dead." The German novelist and social critic dies at 87.

"Günter Grass, the German novelist, social critic and Nobel Prize winner whom many called his country’s moral conscience but who stunned Europe when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen-SS during World War II, died on Monday. He was 87. Mr. Grass’s publisher, the Steidl Verlag, said the author died in a clinic in the northern city of Lübeck, which had been his home for decades. No cause of death was given. Mr. Grass was hardly the only member of his generation who obscured the facts of his wartime life. But because he was a pre-eminent public intellectual who had pushed Germans to confront the ugly aspects of their history, his confession that he had falsified his own biography shocked readers and led some to view his life’s work in a wholly different light. In 2012, Mr. Grass found himself the subject of further scrutiny after publishing a poem criticizing Israel for its hostile language toward Iran over its nuclear program. He expressed revulsion at the idea that Israel might be justified in attacking Iran over a perceived nuclear threat and said that it "endangers the already fragile world peace." "

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TAGS: full house, günter grass, louis c.k., mark harris, mark rappaport, new york city, photoshop, rouge, terminator genisys, the tin drum, the x-files, twin peaks


Marty Rathbun

1. "Marty Rathbun Is Scientology's Public Enemy No. 1. And He's Okay with That." The ex-member of the Church and Going Clear subject talks about the enemies who ambush him and encouraging people to speak out about Scientology's abuses.

"Scientology is such an effective bubble and such an effective defense mechanism set up in everybody's minds that I found that is really not effective. I think really everybody I have dealt with, and I have dealt with hundreds of people since I left, would say they left because the abuses that they saw or participated in—the effect of that outweighed the benefits. That's really the bottom line in the final analysis. In terms of the common experience, there is one... and it's that there is so much put into creating this bubble with this whole disconnect policy and the suppressive persons and all that, that by design you are completely alone. When you go out, nobody shares your experience. In the last five or six years, my atonement has sort of been to contribute a lot to making it safe for people to talk, and connecting people together so they can share their experience. That's the first step I think of helping them decompress and reintegrate."

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TAGS: anita sarko, Barbara Loden, chi chi valenti, going clear: scientology and the prison of belief, hbo, jacqueline valencia, johnny dynell, kristen stewart, Lady Bunny, lydia davis, marty rathbun, michael musto, mubi, richard brody, scientology, true detective, wanda


Kanye West

1. "Kanye Haters at Glastonbury: Racism, Rockism and Flying Bottles of Piss." Ashley Clark on how the backlash against Kanye's headline slot reveals disturbing cultural subtext and offensive vitriol.

"Ignoring the obvious irony that West is a genre-blurring artist (and self-appointed 'rockstar') whose music has long been heavily influenced by rock acts like Led Zeppelin and U2, Lonsdale conflates West's more outré public pronouncements — like his controversial recent suggestion at the Grammys that Beck should 'respect Beyoncé's artistry' — with his supposed lack of value for money, and somehow concludes that he doesn't have the aptitude to headline a concert. It's all rather bizarre. Shouldn't our cultural firmament be studded with erratic, outspoken eccentrics precisely in the vein of Kanye? Yet at the time of writing, [Neil] Lonsdale's petition has accrued an extraordinary 133,246 signatures, making him an accidental figurehead for an amorphous, burbling groundswell of staunch cultural conservatism. It's inconceivable that the petition will achieve its desired goal. But it can't be dismissed as a mere storm in a teacup — it, and the accompanying vitriol, clearly speak to something deeply felt, festering under the surface."

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TAGS: c. mason wells, clouds of sils maria, david lynch, drake, glastonbury festival, interview magazine, jayson greene, kanye west, kendrick lamar, michael koresky, pitchfork, reverse shot, sissy spacek, todd field, twin peaks, vertigo


The Meme As Meme

1. "The Meme As Meme." Why do things go viral, and should we care?

"Pinpointing when memes first made the leap to the Internet is tricky. Nowadays, we might think of the dancing baby, also known as Baby Cha-Cha, that grooved into our inboxes in the 1990s. It was a kind of proto-meme, but no one called it that at the time. The first reference I could find to an 'Internet meme' appeared in a footnote in a 2003 academic article, describing an important event in the life of Jonah Peretti, co-founder of the hugely successful websites The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed. In 2001, as a procrastinating graduate student at MIT, Peretti decided to order a pair of Nike sneakers customized to read 'sweatshop.' Nike refused. Peretti forwarded the email exchange to friends, who sent it on and on, until the story leapt to the mainstream media, where Peretti debated a Nike representative on NBC's Today Show. Peretti later wrote, 'Without really trying, I had released what biologist Richard Dawkins calls a meme.'"

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TAGS: aisha harris, andy warhol, auguste lumiere, burying the ex, grand palais, joe dante, louis lumière, matthew connolly, Meme, rachel donadio, reverse shot, slate, the new york times, vinyl, ziegfeld theater


Allison Jones

1. "The Nerd Hunter." The casting director Allison Jones is reshaping American comedy, one misfit at a time.

"By the time Jones finishes reading a script, she already has ideas about which actors might be right for the roles—and who can handle the pressure of constantly improvising during the eighty-hour workweek that shooting a television comedy often requires. But she also likes the surprise of the unknown, and on the first day of casting she was wading through fifty or so candidates chosen from some nine thousand who had appealed to her in online head shots. She was looking in particular for 'Paul Feig types,' well-meaning nerds who are endearing in their benevolent oddness. 'She finds people that your heart can break for,' the actor Paul Rudd told me. By lunchtime, however, Jones hadn't seen anyone worth showing to Feig. 'They're forcing it,' she said. 'It's not real. You're either a nerd or you're not.'"

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TAGS: allison jones, forbidden games, furious 7, god's not dead, matt fagerholm, max headroom, peeping tom, rialto pictures, richard brody, robert greene


Iran and the Obama Doctrine

1. "Iran and the Obama Doctrine." For the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman chats with President Obama about our nuclear deal with Iran.

"Since President Obama has had more direct and indirect dealings with Iran's leadership—including an exchange of numerous letters with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—than any of his predecessors since Iran's revolution in 1979, I asked what he has learned from the back and forth. 'I think that it's important to recognize that Iran is a complicated country—just like we're a complicated country,' the president said. 'There is no doubt that, given the history between our two countries, that there is deep mistrust that is not going to fade away immediately. The activities that they engage in, the rhetoric, both anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, is deeply disturbing. There are deep trends in the country that are contrary to not only our own national security interests and views but those of our allies and friends in the region, and those divisions are real.'"

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TAGS: barack obama, eric chaline, furious 7, grantland, insidious: chapter 3, iran, j. hoberman, mad men, matt zoller seitz, rob doyle, siegfried kracauer, the irish times, the new york review of books, the new york times, the temple of perfection: a history of the gym, thomas l. friedman, wesley morris


Tatiana Maslany

1. "The Many Faces of Tatiana Maslany." In portraying a horde of clones on Orphan Black, the actress has created TV's strangest—and most sophisticated—meditation on femininity.

"By structuring the story around the clones' differences, Orphan Black seems to suggest that the dull sameness enforced by existing female archetypes needs to die. Early in the first season, there is a serial killer hunting down the clones—it turns out to be Helena, the Ukrainian—who ritualistically dismembers Barbie dolls after dyeing their hair to match that of her next victim. It's a creepy touch, but one that can also be read as a metacriticism of how women are used on TV: the punishing beauty standards to which they're held, the imposed uniformity. (Need a new sitcom wife? Grab the prototype and change the hairstyle.) Our low tolerance for difference among female characters means that they will almost always be less interesting, less memorable and less beloved than their male counterparts. In this context, Helena becomes a kind of hero, slaughtering televisual conformity and constituting, in both her savagery and her warmth, a radical expansion of what women on television can be. And each character, including the criminally insane one, gets considerable attention and respect, even when it comes to questions about butter."

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TAGS: afrofuturism, bam, daniel witkin, entertainment weekly, fear the walking dead, j. hoberman, jeff jensen, martin scorsese, new york city, orphan black, reverse shot, Tatiana Maslany, taxi driver, the americans, the new york times, tokyo twilight, yasujirô ozu







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