1. “Her Again.” Anthony Lane on the unstoppable Scarlett Johansson.
“In the event, at the Waldorf, no such harshness was required. ’Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,’ the photographer, Pari Dukovic, said. I watched two male assistants, in denim shirts and matching baseball caps, one of whom repeatedly stepped forward to make tiny adjustments to her hair. Don’t we all need them in our lives? She stood in a striated green-and-black top, black pants, and heels that could have been pinched from Black Widow’s closet. ’Give me nothing,’ Dukovic said, and Johansson wiped the expression from her face, saying, ’I’ll just pretend to be a model.’ Pause. ’I rarely have anything inside me.’ Then came the laugh: dry and dirty, as if this were a drama class and her task was to play a Martini. Invited to simulate a Renaissance picture, she immediately slipped into a sixteenth-century persona, pretending to hold a pose for a painter and kvetching about it: ’How long do I have to sit here for? My sciatica is killing me.’ You could not wish for a more plausible insight into the mind-set of the Mona Lisa. A small table and a stool were provided, and Johansson sat down with her arms folded in front of her. ’I want to look Presidential,’ she declared. ’I want this to be my Mt. Rushmore portrait.’ Once more, Dukovic told her what to show: ’Absolutely nothing.’ Not long after, he and his team began to pack up. The whole shoot had taken seventeen minutes. She had given him absolutely everything.”
2. “The Psychomagical Realism of Alejandro Jodorowsky.” Eric Benson chats with the legendary filmmaker.
“Jodorowsky’s work has always focused on transformations, and as we sat in his study, he began to tell me why. ’I’ve seen ’Hamlet’ many times, and Hamlet, he was just a hideous neurotic, he never changes. He doubts—all the way to the end, all the way until when he dies, he doubts. Don Quixote, in Cervantes, is Don Quixote. He never changes. These heroes are identical, and they don’t change. And to me it seemed that it shouldn’t be that way. If you want to make a work, you need to have heroes like the universe that go on exploding and growing.’ He made clear that he saw himself on a similar trajectory. ’Between who I was and who I am now, there’s 1,000 years,’ he said. ’One thousand years!’”
3. “Correcting the Rumors.” Terry Richardson responds in a Huffington Post article about the rumors that he’s a sleazeball.
“Like Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, and so many others before me, sexual imagery has always been a part of my photography. Ten years ago, in 2004, I presented some of this work at a gallery show in New York City, accompanied by a book of the photos. The show was very popular and highly praised. The images depicted sexual situations and explored the beauty, rawness, and humor that sexuality entails. I collaborated with consenting adult women who were fully aware of the nature of the work, and as is typical with any project, everyone signed releases. I have never used an offer of work or a threat of rebuke to coerce someone into something that they did not want to do. I give everyone that I work with enough respect to view them as having ownership of their free will and making their decisions accordingly, and as such, it has been difficult to see myself as a target of revisionist history. Sadly, in the on-going quest for controversy-generated page views, sloppy journalism fueled by sensationalized, malicious, and manipulative recountings of this work has given rise to angry Internet crusades. Well-intentioned or not, they are based on lies. Believing such rumors at face value does a disservice not only to the spirit of artistic endeavor, but most importantly, to the real victims of exploitation and abuse.”
4. “Dear Lena Dunham…” Ryan McNeil writes the multihypehante a letter.
“You mention Zosia primarily being approached to play ’flighty nood-nicks’ (great word, by the way). This puzzled me somewhat since my introduction to Zosia was her spin on Mad Men as Joyce Ramsay—a strong, independent assistant photo editor. Not only is this character neither flight, nor a nood-nick, but she plays a part in bringing Peggy Olson—one of the best-written female characters on TV—into her own. Maybe that’s your cue; write fewer Shoshannas and more Joyces.”
5. “Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Hijacking theory gives relatives hope.” The possibility that Malaysia Air Flight 370 was hijacked has heartened the relatives of passengers who are holding out hope that the missing plane landed in some remote location, perhaps a tropical island.
“’My gut feeling is that it landed. I still feel his spirit. I don’t feel he is dead,’ said Sarah Bajc, a 48-year-old American teacher living in Beijing whose partner, Philip Wood, a 50-year-old IBM executive, was a passenger on the flight. A former technology executive, Bajc has been one of the most proactive of the family members, setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts encouraging people to keep looking for the plane. (’The glimmer of hope has become a definable ray. Hostages are far more valuable alive,’ she wrote on the Facebook page “Finding Philip Wood.”) The Malaysian government said on Sunday that it was searching over a wide swath of Asia for the Boeing 777 and the 239 people it carried. Satellite intelligence has suggested two possible routes—one to the northwest with possible destinations of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam or Thailand, and another to the south over the Indian Ocean between Indonesia and Australia.”
Video of the Day: Wes Anderson on Stefan Zweig and the Grand Budapest Hotel, recorded at the New York Public Library on February 27th, 2014:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.