1. “Inside Interstellar.” For EW, Jeff Jensen’s cover story on Christopher Nolan’s emotional space odyssey.
“Nolan says he has been changed by Interstellar, but he’s still figuring out how. ’The character of Cooper opened up something for me about the emotional possibilities of a protagonist,’ he says, and he relates to Brand, the scientist who believes love is essential even though it defies logic. ’A lot of my job is what you might call scientific,’ Nolan says. ’I have always tried to pour myself into the technical side of filmmaking, the things I can control. I relate to the struggle to quantify the elements that are giving you an emotional response. That always feels impossible to me. But I keep trying. A film being more than the sum of its parts is a true mystery.’”
2. “Desert Eyes.” Kim Morgan wishes Udo Kier a happy birthday.
“Driving through the desert, we talk about his life, art, his work (and all the work he’s currently doing—it’s a lot), people he’s met, working with Fassbinder, von Trier, Morrissey, von Sant, Argento, Herzog, Maddin and more and, then, movies he’s loved as a kid. He loved watching Errol Flynn pirate movies. He didn’t have much money growing up, but he’d rush to see Flynn on screen. He discusses one of the three pictures he almost made with Alejandro Jodorowsky. It later became Santé Sangre. Before it was to star Udo and Bette Davis. Wait. What? Bette Davis?”
3. “How New Nightmare Changed the Horror Game.” Twenty years ago, Wes Craven resurrected Freddy Krueger in a meta-horror film that starred Nightmare on Elm Street lead Heather Langenkamp as herself. Now, the writer-director and star reflect on New Nightmare’s influence on the ever-evolving face of horror.
“Despite being one of the most critically acclaimed entries in the Nightmare franchise, New Nightmare was a box office failure. But Craven has some theories about that. ’If I had to do it again, I would not change the look of Freddy quite so much,’ he said. ’The idea of changing him was to make it that this is the real Freddy, or this is the Freddy behind the Freddy, but the original—we were very close, but the colors were different, the colors of the sweater and everything—I think we’d lost some of the oomph from Freddy as Freddy reappearing.’ But Freddy’s makeup and wardrobe are a minor quibble. Craven’s larger concerns about New Nightmare revolve around whether it works as a self-referential piece of fiction. Even if it’s regarded as an early entry into the meta-horror movement, it could still be considered a failure, especially by those who never bought into its central conceit. ’The film was full of experiments,’ Craven continued. ’Some of them worked, and some of them didn’t work so great.’”
4. “Review: Dear White People.” Steven Boone reviews the Justin Simien film.
“Dear White People made me think of an alternate title: And That’s Why They Call It Race. The negro and Caucasian Ivy League University students in Justin Simien’s comedy are all competing to be the first and best across various societal finish lines, either to attain higher status or to solidify it and pass it on to one’s offspring. From a certain vantage point, all this elite jockeying and politicking is exhausting to behold. Ivy League institutions are where many of America’s leaders and innovators are farmed, but the process includes a certain amount of sandbox childishness. It’s fortunate that, like The Social Network, Dear White People is so charismatic in form and style that we easily forgive its surfeit of priviliged narcissists. And, while the tone here is broader and brassier than that of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s Harvard rhapsody, we eventually get to see much further beyond the surface of these calculating, thin-skinned brats, to an intensely sensitive and searching core. You can see it in the eyes of Tessa Thompson, who plays mulatto campus radical Samantha White with such implosive rage and heartache that her closeups feel like grand set pieces.”
5. “Nicholas Sparks Has Been to Bed with 97 Million Women.” What does Sparks know about ladies that the rest of us don’t? For GQ, Andrew Corsello seeks answers.
“No matter how colorful he gets with his wordplay, the Nicholas Sparks Man does not curse. Ever. Nobody around him does, either. Even liquor-sopped, murderously vengeful ex-husbands talk clean. Sparks’s reasons for this speak to a literary universe whose arc bends toward optimism, earnestness, being nice, more than, well, reality. ’It goes to the honesty and sincerity of my characters,’ he says. ’[Profanity] can be an easy fix, a crutch used to express anger or frustration. Creating those emotions without bad language is much more effective. And challenging.’”
Video of the Day: Richard Brody on Margaret:
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