1. ” An Emotional Jay Leno Bids Goodbye to Tonight.” Johnny Carson’s departure from the ’Tonight’ show was an abdication. Jay Leno’s last show, on Thursday, was closer to a retirement party—a bittersweet send-off for a loyal executive pushed out after 22 years.
“Newer viewers were like the younger employees down the hall who barely know the retiree, but are still drawn to the drama of a forced exit, and also the free champagne and cake. For his older, longtime fans—his audience’s median age is 57.8—there was a there-but-for-the-grace-of God frisson: Mr. Leno, 63, is such a familiar fixture of network television that his last hurrah became a dreaded rite of passage, an acting out of people’s deepest fears about their own obsolescence. (That could be the reason David Letterman, 66, of CBS put aside his longstanding grudge against Mr. Leno and congratulated his rival on ’a wonderful run.’).”
2. “Sochi Olympics 2014 live.” Opening ceremony underway in Sochi.
“The 2014 Olympics opening ceremony is underway in Sochi, Russia. The L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke, on the scene, noted the performance by tATu. The group has been described as a psuedo-lesbian pop duo—interesting given the uproar over Russia’s anti-gay laws. Opera diva Anna Netrebko was set to sing the Olympic anthem. Although there is no streaming video of the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in real time, you can get a sneak peek here with our reporters and others tweeting the ceremony from Russia. See our live coverage below.” [See also: Gawker’s posting of the psychedelic opening.]
3. “Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood to score soundtrack for new Paul Thomas Anderson film.” The guitarist will work with the director again on crime film Inherent Vice.
“Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood will score the soundtrack to the new Thomas Anderson film, Inherent Vice, according to reports. The guitarist worked on the music for the director’s last two films—There Will Be Blood and The Master—and has now signed up to write the score for upcoming crime movie Inherent Vice, according to Film Music Reporter. He will compose the score this month with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.”
4. “Those Hollywood Dumpuary Blues.” One great doc can’t stop the fall of Monuments Men or the cynicism of The Lego Movie.
“I stopped laughing because after 20 minutes, I’d had enough. The conceit gets stale fast. If Michel Gondry’s all-Lego music video for the White Stripes’ ’Fell in Love With a Girl’ had lasted 100 minutes, the tidal wave of joy you get from that clip would dissipate, and all you would be is wet. I’d had enough of the cynicism, too. The movie wants to mock adventure movies and cartoons and disrespect family movies with ’whatever, dude’ cool: Emmet is an almost self-admitted idiot who’s happier being a drone. You sense that Lord and Miller want to make another piece of gonzo vulgarity, something ironically, riotously lewd like Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s all-marionette Team America: World Police. But The Lego Movie is as far as the studio would allow them to go. Any real anarchy actually feels suppressed. So you doubt its sincerity. Once the film breaks into a long, would-be climactic live-action interlude with Ferrell as a neglectful dad, I threw my hands up. Emmet tells Wyldstyle, ’I never have any ideas.’ Lord and Miller run out of fresh ones fast.”
5. “The Sochi Olympics’ Smartest PR Move Yet.” And one that’s deeply dangerous for human rights everywhere.
“More puzzling and upsetting is t.A.T.u.’s decision to implicitly validate such policies, though their motivations, sadly, are also understandable. The joke among pop critics has always been that t.A.T.u. are ’fake’ lesbians just looking to cash in. (By 2004, they said, ’It’s not fun playing lesbians anymore.’) The wet T-shirt contest that is ’All the Things She Said’ ranks on the pro-gay continuum somewhere alongside Katy Perry’s ’I Kissed a Girl,’ which is to say it’s not exactly winning any GLAAD awards.”
Video of the Day: The video for Annie and Bjarne Melgaard’s protest song “Russian Kiss”:
Links for the Day: A collection of links to items that we hope will spark discussion. We encourage our readers to submit candidates for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org and to converse in the comments section.