1. “Judd Apatow Wants to Make the Real World as Nice as His Movies.” For The Village Voice, Amy Nicholson interviews the filmmaker.
“’She’s crazy funny. I mean, funny in a way that I can only really compare to Seth,’ says Apatow of [Amy] Schumer. As Rogen and Dunham know, when Apatow thinks you’re talented, he does something about it. He invited Schumer to write him a script. Her first story was wild, high-concept fiction—an idea both are keeping under wraps for now. It was good, but Apatow wanted something more personal, the kind of movie Judd Apatow might have made if Judd Apatow had ever been a 33-year-old single woman. As he saw it, Schumer’s debut film was her chance to define her screen identity. ’It might be easier for Anne Hathaway to get great scripts,’ Apatow notes. ’But if you have a strong comic voice, there’s very few scripts that have your voice.’”
2. “The Cinema Isn’t a Place; It’s an Idea.” The new movie-review policy at the Times, Richard Brody argues, gives smaller films and online releases a more even playing field. But as the cultural clutter increases, critical judgement is more crucial than ever.
“The lack of a theatrical release doesn’t prevent anyone from writing enthusiastically about films available only on V.O.D.—but it does keep those films out of Oscar consideration and out of the journalistic confines constructed to coincide with it. I heartily agree with Scott: being a film critic now entails paying attention to V.O.D. releases. Yet that’s why the changes augured by the Times’s new policy won’t do much to clear space for independent-film releases. With coverage expanding to on-demand and online releases, the clutter—and the demands on a movie critic’s attention—will only increase. The changes in critical coverage make critical judgment all the more crucial. Only a discerning sense of what’s important—artistically and therefore journalistically and even historically—will enable a critic to bring a little-marketed film of great merit to the attention of readers and viewers. Without that exacting taste, no change in policy will ever help.”
3. “Hollywood Hologram Wars: Vicious Legal Feud Behind Virtual Mariah, Marilyn and Mick.” From Homer Simpson to Jimmy Kimmel to Disney’s upcoming ’Star Wars’ movie, Hollywood’s new technology already is transmitting stars to multiple spots and reviving ones long gone. But now, a legal war between two entrepreneurs is holding back a potentially massive business as they squabble on social media (’Come at me, bro,’ says one).
“But for all its promise, hologram technology has been slow to achieve mass adoption. The main reason? An explosive legal fight of international scope between two rival hologram companies using a similar illusion. A review of thousands of court documents and interviews with those involved, many speaking publicly for the first time, reveals allegations of corporate backstabbing, theft, sabotage and even cyberstalking. Front and center is David, 47, who has poured $15 million into holograms and has teamed with Uwe Maass, a German inventor living in Dubai, and Giovanni Palma, an Italian businessman who in 2013 emerged as the winner of a strange auction after ’Tupac’ performed onstage during the Coachella music festival. The surprise appearance by the deceased rapper captured global headlines. Soon, a power struggle erupted at Maass’ company Musion, which had licensed the technology for the Coachella event. As a consequence of the struggle, Musion was put into a form of bankruptcy in the U.K. and its patents were auctioned, which is how the technology landed in Palma’s hands and then David’s.”
4. “Jerry Seinfeld, Online Force.” For the New York Times, Dave Itzkoff profiles the comedian and the success of his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
“While it is to be expected that a younger class of comedians who came of age with the Internet—like Aziz Ansari, Amy Schumer or Chris Hardwick—would naturally adapt to it, Mr. Seinfeld could not say precisely why he was thriving with digital content when his own peers—say, David Letterman, or acolytes like Chris Rock—were largely absent from it. Speaking generally about comedians, Mr. Seinfeld said that no two paths unfold similarly and that there was little that well-established stars could teach one another. ’The first 10 years of a lot of careers, you could say, ’This is pretty similar,’’ he said. At this point, ’I can’t look at Jay Leno’s career, or Louis C. K.’s career or Chris Rock’s career and learn anything. I can’t model anything on what they do. Precedents are not helpful.’ Even as he applies his stand-up comic’s approach to his online work, Mr. Seinfeld makes no assumptions that his stage and TV career should guarantee him success in this new realm. ’The Internet is the least forgiving medium of anything,’ he said. ’Even at a nightclub, an audience can’t all get up and leave. On the Internet, they can.’”
5. “Women Driving Under the Influence.” For Los Angeles Review of Books’ Avidly channel, Lucy Tiven on men and women and driving privilege—with references to Joan Didion.
“Both [Thom] Anderson and [F. Scott] Fitzgerald associate the car with a sort of recklessness that accompanies luxury and dooms its logical conclusion. For Fitzgerald, this is pretty literal: most of [The Great Gatsby]’s major characters perish in car-accidents or lose loved ones to vehicular tragedy. Anderson deals with car-as-symbol in a broader context, linking cars and freeways to LA’s ever-widening wealth gap and the kinds of experiences represented on screen and in popular literature. Conversely, in Joan Didion’s ’Bureacrats’ the freeway is assigned a quasi-hokey mysticism, deemed Los Angeles’ only ’secular communion.’ Though she doesn’t say so (and likely would object) I see Didion’s elevation of driving as a distinctly female act or impulse, commemorating a space where a private female narrative or experience can take place without the intrusions it might face elsewhere.”
Video of the Day: The red band trailer for American Ultra:
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