1. “Oscar Nominations 2015: The Complete List” The nominations will be revealed at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
“The nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were revealed on Thursday, Jan. 15, at 5:30 a.m. For the first time, the entire list of nominees were announced live in a two-part announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Directors J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron announced the first group of nominees for the award show’s 24 categories and then Into the Woods actor Chris Pine and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs took the stage to announce the remaining nominees. Eight films were nominated for best picture. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel topped the nomination with nine each while The Imitation Game followed with eight noms.”
2. ”Veep Creator on Paris and Sony Attacks, Rupert Murdoch’s Tweet and Self-Censorship Fears (Guest Column).” Writing for THR, veteran satirist Armando Iannucci shares his thoughts on what Hollywood should do in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack and Sony hack: “The real defiance comes in the walk back to work.”
“Yes, let’s consider security, let’s keep safe, but let’s not pretend we’re all—comedians, actors, executives—in some kind of war now, that we’re on a front line or in a bunker. I don’t want to feel I have to wear an armband every time I tell a joke, nor ask for a medal once I’ve told it. Nor do I want Hollywood to turn this into a black-and-white, good-versus-evil storyline like something from one of its slightly underperforming action movies. And please, please: Can we give actors who happen to be Islamic roles far more challenging and dignified than Terrorist 1 and Undercover Operative 9? How about parts that don’t in any way require you to gauge their performance by their religion—soccer coach, perhaps, or NASA scientist? Or how about governor? A whole generation has now grown up watching the average Islamic character’s story arc in American drama center on the degree to which he or she is separate from the community around them.”
3. “10 great films about women in wartime.” Like the new adaptation of Vera Brittain’s First World War memoir Testament of Youth, these 10 film classics explore the contributions and experiences of women during wartime.
“Pauline Kael’s 1973 review of Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 masterpiece of political cinema famously commented that it was ’probably the only film that has ever made middle-class audiences believe in the necessity of bombing innocent people’. A clear-eyed portrait of the bloody years of struggle preceding Algerian independence from France, its startlingly honest portrayal of strategic violence during conflict on both sides has seen it used as a morale booster by everyone from the Black Panther party to the 2010 Algerian football team and was even screened at the Pentagon in 2004 to inform strategy in Iraq. No less honest in its portrayal of women, one of the film’s most effective scenes sees three Algerian women begin to remove their veils and transform themselves into European hair and dress in preparation for a terrorist act. Pontecorvo’s direction of this central scene is a fantastically layered exploration of female subjectivity and a dismantling of expressions of cinematic otherness. As the women prepare to lay bombs across the city, their moral and emotional dilemma is clear, but so is their agency in the acts, and the centrality of the scene confirms them as key contributors to the resistance movement.”
4. “How Jill Soloway Is Bending Hollywood.” The Transparent creator believes TV can be much more than TV, and she’s proving it with her revolutionary—and very autobiographical—new show.
“Soloway has faced pushback from some members of the trans community who object to a cis male—a person who was born male and who identifies as such—playing Maura. But other prominent trans folk, such as Laverne Cox and Jenny Boylan, the latter of whom is one of Tambor’s three trans consultants on the show, have said that they actually think Tambor’s Maura is representative of late-in-life transitioners who struggle with knowing how to look outwardly feminine. But most important, the Soloway family are huge fans—they all attended the premiere. (The one downside is the loss of privacy, Soloway says; she asked me not to publish any details about her moppa.) ’In some ways it’s brought us closer,’ she says. ’All four of us—me, my sister, my mom, my moppa—really love the Pfeffermans and see the show almost like a tribute to our family. I almost wish I was in the Pfefferman family.’”
5. “What Michael Mann Did to Get the Hackers in Blackhat Right.” Wired’s Angela Watercutter interviews the auteur.
“Watching people type is boring. And I didn’t want to represent the inside of a chip as being a guy on a motorcycle on a bridge. I wanted to represent, as realistically as possible, the idea that a data packet is going in with an address that says, ’I’m OK, let me through your firewall,’ but hidden within it is a tool that can open up a back door. The sequence goes inside the computer and uses the actual shape of a transistor: one piece of conductive metal that has a surplus of electrons, and one with no electrons. The one license we took is we made them be two different colors.”
Video of the Day: FKA twigs’s video for “Pendulum”:
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