1. ”Good, the Bad and the Ugly Star Eli Wallach Dies at 98.” The character actor from Brooklyn was at his best playing banditos in that Clint Eastwood classic as well as in The Magnificent Seven, just two highlights of his six-decade-plus career.
“Eli Wallach, the enduring and artful character actor who starred as Mexican hombres in the 1960s film classics The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, has died. He was 98. Wallach, who won a Tony Award in 1951 for playing Alvaro in Tennessee Williams’ original production of The Rose Tattoo, made his movie debut as a cotton-gin owner trying to seduce a virgin in Elia Kazan’s Baby Doll (1956) and worked steadily well into his nineties, died on Tuesday, his daughter Katherine told The New York Times. No other details of his death were immediately available.”
2. ”Do the Right Thing Turns 25, and BAM Hosts the Block Party.” Michelle Orange on the Spike Lee classic.
“For his African-American characters, self-expression is shown to be not just paramount but political, where in the freedoms of dance, dress, food, sexuality, community, hair (especially hair), music, and the strength of one’s own voice inhere the tools and imperatives of identity. To express is to identify, which is to resist the counter-imperatives of oppression, of racism, of oblivion. The term ’ghetto blaster’ feels consonant with this view of Lee’s Brooklyn: an expressive weapon of gloriously loud but limited range—too limited, for instance, to save Radio Rahim.”
3. “Soul to Keep.” With How to Dress Well, Tom Krell is trying to capture true meaning in a world hellbent on snuffing it out. And now, after spending years blurring his voice while testing the outermost limits of pop and R&B, the singer is channeling his hopes and hurt with a startling new clarity.
“Krell says his studies are separate-but-complementary to the music he makes, and the tension between the two acts as its own creative force. With philosophy, he’s trying to suss out the framework of life as we know it, to break down the mental gymnastics popping off through his brain into words on the page. With music, he’s forging headlong into the unknown, embracing immediacy, letting himself get lost. He describes a moment of musical bliss that occurred near the end of a recent show in New York, where he freestyled a tribute to a troubled friend mid-song, his emotions and voice pouring out unencumbered. ’I just snapped, and it felt amazing,’ he says with a spacey look in his eyes. ’But it also felt like something I didn’t really have control over.’ Seeking a release—and a path back to reality—he followed that dalliance with ecstasy by stepping off stage, winding up, and blasting his fist into a wall.”
4. “The Homophobia Generation Gap.” Amy Sohn, author of the upcoming The Actress, explains it all.
“Not too many years from now, the fortysomething and fiftysomething A-listers will be replaced by a new generation of stars. At that point, we might see some out A-listers. (The professional rise of Neil Patrick Harris, and the way he will soon be the king of all media, is compelling.) But the new gay-listers won’t come out mid-career. They will have come out at 14 or 15 in the LGBTQ clubs of their high schools. Some will already be in same-sex marriages by the time they get famous, wearing wedding rings. Coming out will become an old idea: that gayness is something you keep secret and then don’t keep secret. One day, the term will become as obsolete as the phrase hanging up. The new stars’ homosexuality will be indistinguishable from the other pieces of their identities. They will be gay or lesbian like they are Capricorns or idealists or really good micromanagers.”
5. “A Freelance Career, Found in Translation.” Nicolas Rapold on the challenges of movie subtitlers.
“Translating scripts for filmmakers and screenwriters before production is a common sideline, and closer collaborations with directors also occur. The Iranian translator Massoumeh Lahidji has worked with Abbas Kiarostami as an interpreter at screenings, a translator of subtitles, and even an adviser at the script stage. The lasting importance of subtitles hits home with revivals of older films. Revising the translation can be a vital part of a restoration. In a demonstration of how priorities can change form one era to the next, many older repertory classics would skip racy language, or simply skip as much as possible to minimize text.”
Video of the Day: Fury, starring Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, gets a trailer:
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