1. “James Franco offers pros and cons of going to graduate school.” Franco, who has been in at least six graduate programs, pens essay for new book, Should I Go to Grad School. He oughta know.
“Graduate schools. I’ve been to a few. They’re funny. Each one is different, obviously. Most of the programs I went to were MFAs. I went for fiction—twice—I went for film, I went for poetry, and I went for art. I went because I had spent years as a professional actor and as a mature student of everything else; I wanted to treat my other interests with as much seriousness as I did my acting. Since at one point I had been a mature actor who worked hard and became a professional, I thought I could do the same thing with other fields. Here are a few observations I’ve made over the course of six years of grad school at six different programs.”
2. “Macklemore, the Grammy Winning Rapper, Is a 9/11 Truther Who Likes to Play Anti-Semitic Dress-Up.” The rapper achieved fame and fortune preaching acceptance, before buying into some weird conspiracy theories. Now he’s dressed up in an anti-Semitic costume. What’s going on?
“On Friday night, Macklemore decided to surprise his hometown fans by making a special appearance at Seattle’s Experience Music Project…as an anti-Semitic Jewish caricature, sporting a giant prosthetic hooked nose, dark beard, and bowl cut wig. It’s truly bizarre to see the rapper, who achieved fame and fortune on the back of his gay rights anthem ’Same Love,’ commit such a startling gaffe. Macklemore has, after all, claimed to have ’hella good Jewish homies,’ and even played the shofar, a ram’s horn blown on the Jewish high holidays, to promote the VMAs. That may be why few fans seemed outwardly perturbed by his Jew costume during the performance. Or maybe they were blinded with excitement from witnessing a cameo by their hometown hero. Either way, once photos of his strange getup reached the Internet, members of the Twitterverse began calling Macklemore out on his blunder, including actor-filmmaker Seth Rogen.”
3. “What the Death of Homepages Means for the Future of News.” News publishers lost the homepage firehose, and gained a social media flood. It’s making the news more about readers, and less about news.
“Why should the death of homepages give rise to news that’s more about readers? Because homepages reflect the values of institutions, and Facebook and Twitter reflect the interest of individual readers. These digital grazers have shown again and again that they aren’t interested in hard news, but rather entertainment, self-help, awe, and outrage dressed up news. Digitally native publishers are pretty good at pumping this kind of stuff out. Hence quizzes, hence animals, hence 51 Photos That Show Women Fighting Sexism Awesomely. Even serious publishing companies know that self-help and entertainment often outperform outstanding reporting.”
4. “When Should You Show the Monster?” Forrest Wickman on the rules of “Cinematic Foreplay.”
“’As a simple dramatic principle of writing something scary, the unknown is the most frightening thing,’ Alien screenwriter Dan O’Bannon has said. ’Make the audience squint, stare and try to catch glimpses of the thing in the shadows. Underexposure is always more effective than overexposure when you’re trying to scare people.’ Alfred Hitchcock put this a different way: ’There is no terror in a bang,’ he famously said, ’only in the anticipation of it.’ The movie that kicked off the whole trend, King Kong (1933), conveyed this as well as any since: The native villagers of Skull Island have built a whole ceremony around the monster’s semi-regular appearances, and as they wait for the stop-motion ape to appear, they dance, chant, and writhe in an ecstatic crescendo—signaling to us in the audience how we should react. (Guillermo del Toro has called this the ’pageantry’ of monster movies, noting, ’So many horror films are almost like shrines to their creatures.’ Gareth Edwards has used a different metaphor, calling it ’cinematic foreplay.’)”
5. “Industrial Pictures Are Not Art.” Legendary Cult Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky on New Film The Dance of Reality and How Hollywood Is Killing Cinema
“Untangling himself from the past also allowed the director to fully embrace new technologies while creating Dance of Reality, which he shot digitally. ’I was so happy to do that. With a new machine, you have new possibilities.’ he expresses. ’Time changes, the mind changes. Now we are using another machine. It is the 21st century. We are obliged to do that.’ Twitter is another new platform for the artist, and he updates it daily. ’It’s intercommunication. It’s fantastic. It’s like Japanese haiku,’ he says. Reflecting on his early work, he sees the films with a similar fluidity: ’I am an artist. I don’t know what I do. I do with my intuition. Like a dream. You can interpret a dream, but later you might have a different interpretation. Every time I see El Topo and my pictures, I have another idea of what I wanted to say. That is art. The art brings the vision.’”
Video of the Day: The video for Röyksopp and Robyn’s “Sayit”:
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