1. “Sigourney Weaver Interview.” For Interview, Jamie Lee Curtis interviews her fellow actor.
“I work so hard, and out of the raw material that is the script and talks I have with the director, the writer, I create, I hope, a very specific person who wouldn’t have otherwise existed. However, do I then attach and hang on to the finished product? No. The experience of the creation of the character is what feeds me, what excites me, challenges me. I just finished this movie with J.A. Bayona, called A Monster Calls [co-starring Liam Neeson and Felicity Jones, expected in 2016], which was a challenging movie for all of us. It’s from a novel written by Patrick Ness. But, after the experience, I let it go, because I know the director’s going to go in; the alchemist will take over and do something else with it.”
2. “Your TV Small-Talk Is Ruining Dinner Parties.” I you ever have dinner with Vulture’s Daniel Engber, it’s best to not ask him what he’s watching on TV.
“The fact that everyone must be up to date provides another way for TV talk to rid itself of substance. Pretend you watched the first two episodes of Transparent, and found it overcute and politically correct. It would be nice if you could share this view at dinner, if only to inject a minor note of conflict. But, alas, when your friend declares the show is perfect, you don’t have standing to object. Since you haven’t forced yourself to watch a day shift’s worth of episodes, who are you to judge? ’Give it another try,’ a guest might say. ’You really have to get invested in the characters.’ (And what if I don’t? It’s a classic TV-talk tautology.) More often you’ll be told the show starts off a little slow, but wait, things pick up mid-season. You’ll have to take that claim on faith, since, well, no spoilers! It’s the grand-jury model of persuasion: no opposing counsel, and all the evidence is sealed.”
3. “Envious Moons.” Slant contributor Richard Larson publishes his latest short story in acclaimed literary magazine Joyland.
“I was the kind of boy who didn’t inspire a second glance, but everybody knew Callie. You must have known her too—why else would you have come? Her picture was always in the local paper, something about a beauty pageant she had won in the next county over, or a cheerleading competition where she had performed a particularly daring trick. She had even played Juliet in the school play, which everyone in town went to see. The production didn’t include Shakespeare’s original ending because a student had recently committed suicide in the high school gymnasium, so when Juliet woke up in the family crypt, Romeo was still alive, waiting for her there in the darkness.”
4. “Panpsychism’s Labyrinth.” Steven Shaviro’s new book teaches us how to navigate in a world where objects are peer.
“In The Universe of Things, [Steven] Shaviro empathizes with [Quentin] Meillassoux’s yearning for the ’great outdoors.’ But Shaviro reminds us that there is another portal to ’that outside.” This portal may be accessed via the writings of the British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. Like Meillassoux, Whitehead’s metaphysics begins with a rejection of philosophy’s initiatory, constitutive binary split: the ’bifurcation of nature.’ Like Meillassoux, Whitehead is invigorated by recent research in science and mathematics. But, as Shaviro emphasizes, the similarities end there. For Whitehead, much of the recent work in Continental Realism would have been of limited interest, too static and atemporal, too sloppy in differentiating between different levels of abstraction and concreteness.”
5. “Madonna is superhuman. She has to be to survive the ugly abuse.” No wonder Madonna took her Brit awards fall in her stride—she deals with much worse just for being a 56-year-old woman.
“But she was brutally mocked in the reviews. And that laughter is growing louder and crueller and uglier, as the Twitter response to her fall illustrated. Madonna’s longevity was first admired and is now actively sabotaged by editorials which never fail to mention her age, as though it is something to be ashamed of. I am shocked by the uninflected scorn, the derision and foul-mouthed trashing she is dealt, and how much of it is grossly visceral: hatred of her flesh, physicality, sexual confidence, athleticism, ambition, her preference for Latin spunkbots, her alternating bossiness and vulnerability and romanticism and eroticism and playfulness, her performance ability and hunger. All the things which were once admired about her are now used to bash her and make her appear laughable or monstrous or desperate.”
Video of the Day: Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young gets a new trailer:
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