1. “American Horror, Ivy League Edition.” For Newsweek, Alexander Nazaryan on how your Ivy League education may not be worth what you paid for it.
“Together, these three books make a persuasive case that the Ivy League is, collectively, a moribund institution, a triumph of marketing whose allure far exceeds its social utility. After all, if our finest colleges can neither turn relatively privileged men like Lohse into models of society nor vault someone like Peace out of the urban destitution from which he’d so nearly escaped, then what are they good for? Perhaps what Will Hunting says to a pompous Harvard scholar is really true: ’You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you coulda’ picked up for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.’ Except, of course, an Ivy League education has become even more obscenely expensive in the 17 years since Good Will Hunting romanticized Southie autodidactism.”
2. “Do documentary filmmakers need data about their audiences?” As Netflix and other services gain viewer insights, filmmakers aren’t seeing the full picture.
“While they don’t have hard numbers, executives at Netflix have given them a rough idea of how their film has been doing, Peck said. And ’because we set up our own model to track our audience, [the lack of data] didn’t affect us so much. We would really recommend that to other filmmakers.’ But others in the documentary world say a rough idea is not enough, and argue that digital platforms—not only Netflix—should share more of the information they’re collecting. ’I think it’s a common complaint about all digital releases, that there’s not much transparency,’ said Doug Block, an independent documentary director and producer, and the founder of The D-Word, an online community for documentary professionals. The lack of insight into audiences makes it hard for filmmakers to promote their work to future investors, he said. And in the case of Netflix, Block is skeptical of the license-fee model: ’You don’t get any extra besides your acquisition fee, whether a million people rent it or click on it. It’s downright un-American.’”
3. “Fear of a Minority Superhero: Marvel’s Obsession with White Guys Saving the World.” Marvel’s business is booming and they have their film lineup mapped until 2019. The problem? No superheroes of color toplining a film—and (maybe) one woman.
“Hollywood films do hold a mirror to society, and representation—or the lack thereof—is incredibly important when it comes to cultural minorities, including women. Last year, I spoke to Joss Whedon, the director behind The Avengers and its upcoming sequel about the lack of female superheroes. The issue hits close to home for Whedon, who championed female ass-kickers with the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and even penned an unproduced screenplay for the DC-owned Wonder Woman.”
4. “The American people gave exactly 4,377 f***s for net neutrality.” Tell us how you really feel
“Americans are mad about losing net neutrality rules. Really mad. So mad that among the 1.1 million comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission, they offered f-bombs, death threats, and just overall super-pissed language. But so far the FCC hasn’t provided the full deck of comments to the public—until now. Thankfully the data wizards at Vox Media have been crunching through the numbers, and we now have a top-down view of just how mad citizens are about the crony capitalism that’s led to regional broadband monopolies, embarrassing internet speeds, and perpetually late cable guys.”
5. “Eight Arms to Hold.” Charles Taylor on A Hard Day’s Night.
“But like all protest art, there was a way in which Osborne and Delaney and their peers acceded to the very conditions they identified. By allowing those conditions to define their lives, they didn’t just acknowledge the dispiriting state of life in postwar Britain, they affirmed the power of the ruling class over them. The Beatles refused that power. The joy of their music negated anything that wasn’t fun or exhilarating, just as the negations of the punks 10 years later disguised an affirmation. Just as the punks, rudely and snottily, would turn on the remnants of the counterculture, the physical exuberance of the Beatles and their fans stood for a generation who were tired of hearing about the Suez and Anthony Eden, Profumo and Keeler, the whole British establishment.”
Video of the Day: The U.K. trailer for Maps to the Stars:
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