1. ”Gone Girl to Open New York Film Festival.” The David Fincher-directed thriller, starring Ben Affleck, will be the opening night gala screening Sept. 26.
“The World Premiere of David Fincher’s Gone Girl will open the New York Film Festival, the Film Society of Lincoln Center said Thursday. The film, starring Oscar-winner Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry, will launch the 52nd annual festival September 26 at Alice Tully Hall, while later that night the after-party will return to Tavern on the Green. Gone Girl, based on the global best seller by Gillian Flynn, features Fincher’s return to the festival after The Social Network opened the 2010 New York Film Festival. 20th Century Fox and New Regency will open Gone Girl in theaters on October 3. “
2. “I Killed At the Movies.” Ignatiy Vishnevetsky provides the inside story of the dueling critics’ last hurrah.
“Writing for teleprompter is a workout, especially if you’re the kind of writer who considers em dashes, parentheses, and semicolons to be invaluable tools. Dependent clauses and homophones are out; the tricks that writers use to engage readers with an idea supposedly don’t work on the listener-viewer. A writer aspires to trap the reader in a text; in broadcast, the goal is to minimize the number of steps the listener-viewer has to take to get from a statement to its putative meaning. Believe it or not, TV producers talk a lot of theory—mostly semantics and pragmatics—though they couch it in the soft, slippery language of viewer feelings. They learn, though trial and error, what does and doesn’t read on camera: how to gesticulate, how not to smile, how to use body language to focus a point instead of distracting the viewer. The whole business of readability, which treats the show as text, smacks of unwitting academia.”
3. “Scientists Are Beginning to Figure Out Why Conservatives Are…Conservative.” Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today, it’s becoming hard not to.
“Behavioral and Brain Sciences employs a rather unique practice called ’Open Peer Commentary’: An article of major significance is published, a large number of fellow scholars comment on it, and then the original author responds to all of them. The approach has many virtues, one of which being that it lets you see where a community of scholars and thinkers stand with respect to a controversial or provocative scientific idea. And in the latest issue of the journal, this process reveals the following conclusion: A large body of political scientists and political psychologists now concur that liberals and conservatives disagree about politics in part because they are different people at the level of personality, psychology, and even traits like physiology and genetics.”
4. “A Master of Illusion Endures.” For Woody Allen’s next trick, shrugging off bad publicity.
“I’m like Blanche DuBois,’ said Mr. Allen, 78, sitting on an ice chest in a parking lot outside the cafe. ’I hope in life that there’s a certain amount of magic. Unfortunately, there’s not enough. There are little, sporadic things one could think of as magical. But for the most part, it’s grim reality.’ Those remarks may simply reflect the comically crushing skepticism of Mr. Allen, who has considerable power to construct his own worlds, fictional and otherwise. But the comments could also apply to the tumult of recent months, when he was confronted with past accusations he may have thought had vanished; and the reality that Magic in the Moonlight may test whether his audience has disappeared.”
5. “American Idols” Kara Vanderbijl on Blue Velvet.
“Frank (Dennis Hopper) lives up to his name: he is a straightforward brand of evil. Jeffrey, Sandy and Dorothy, their names ending in y, decorate the action of the film like adverbs decorate a verb. But Frank is pure action. He interrupts Dorothy and Jeffrey’s brief interlude by pounding on the door. By the time Dorothy whisks Jeffrey into the closet, he has entered the apartment, his movements brusque, every word punctuated by obscenities. He has come to take what is his. As Jeffrey watches from the closet, Frank subjects Dorothy to a series of humiliating and violent sexual acts. He presses a mask to his mouth and gasps at an unidentified substance. His eyes bug out. But neither his person nor his crimes are as disturbing as Dorothy’s obvious enjoyment of them. At the tail end of a punch, her lips curl into a smile.”
Video of the Day: Richard Brody on Love Streams:
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