1. “Kanye Haters at Glastonbury: Racism, Rockism and Flying Bottles of Piss.” Ashley Clark on how the backlash against Kanye’s headline slot reveals disturbing cultural subtext and offensive vitriol.
“Ignoring the obvious irony that West is a genre-blurring artist (and self-appointed ’rockstar’) whose music has long been heavily influenced by rock acts like Led Zeppelin and U2, Lonsdale conflates West’s more outré public pronouncements — like his controversial recent suggestion at the Grammys that Beck should ’respect Beyoncé’s artistry’ — with his supposed lack of value for money, and somehow concludes that he doesn’t have the aptitude to headline a concert. It’s all rather bizarre. Shouldn’t our cultural firmament be studded with erratic, outspoken eccentrics precisely in the vein of Kanye? Yet at the time of writing, [Neil] Lonsdale’s petition has accrued an extraordinary 133,246 signatures, making him an accidental figurehead for an amorphous, burbling groundswell of staunch cultural conservatism. It’s inconceivable that the petition will achieve its desired goal. But it can’t be dismissed as a mere storm in a teacup — it, and the accompanying vitriol, clearly speak to something deeply felt, festering under the surface.”
2. “Evolve with the Flow.” For Pitchfork, Jayson Greene on how Drake and Kendrick Lamar found their voices.
“This is a great way to sound conversational, to make listeners forget that there is a ticking meter pushing along your thoughts, but it only works if you can sound casual. Drake’s delivery, meanwhile, was a barrage of eighth notes, each syllable exactly the length of the one before it. The style prioritized legibility over spontaneity and ended up sounding about as natural as a Degrassi script. In his early career, the downbeat was an appointment Drake could not afford to miss, which occasionally gave his rapping a teeth-setting edge, like an assistant following you around a little too eagerly. The way his voice was mixed—high and clear, far above the muted music—served as an acknowledgment of his slightly formal, arms-length relationship with the beat.”
3. “Filmmaker’s Film: Vertigo.” C. Mason Wells on the influence of the Alfred Hitchcock film.
“Obsession is the perfect word for Vertigo’s many filmmaker-fans. Few (if any) other movies have spawned as many explicit reimaginings, parodies, and outright copies as this one. Countless directors have been enthralled by Vertigo’s sheer technical mastery, its dazzling use of color (that green dress!) and geometry (those spirals!). There’s the magisterial presentation of San Francisco geography—the sloping hills and encroaching fog and towering bridges—glimpsed as Scottie tracks Madeleine from a flower shop to a Mission Dolores cemetery to an art museum (locations Marker memorably retraced in Sans Soleil, 1983). The film even introduced a new type of shot: the so-called Vertigo effect, wherein the camera simultaneously zooms in while tracking backwards, that has become the go-to cinematic shorthand to represent disorientation.”
4. “A Woman in Full.” Reverse Shot’s Michael Koresky on Clouds of Sils Maria.
“Waiting for clouds to appear is an apt metaphor for watching an Assayas film. As he proved in the similarly playful hall-of-mirrors film Irma Vep, Assayas is adept at making high-concept films seem like they emerged naturally and spontaneously from thin air. The film is awash with narrative symmetries and parallels, but it plays so fast and loose (it’s made up of short scenes with many abrupt fade outs) that it doesn’t let itself get too heavy-handed. It’s no surprise that the least effective moments of Clouds of Sils Maria are the ones that seem most overly designed, like a Valentine’s disorienting, boozy late-night drive up a mountain road, woozy with superimpositions, or a tone-deaf parody of a Hollywood superhero movie, a mess of handheld camerawork and references to characters named ’Dr. Pretorius’ and ’Scarlet Witch.’ More successful is the scene in which Maria and Valentine debate the relative merits of that film; the former dismissing its ’generic pop psychology,’ the latter remarking genuinely upon its ’dark and genuine’ soul. Even though the movie within the movie looks utterly ridiculous, the film doesn’t appear to take sides on their difference of opinion, using it as another example of Valentine’s growing insecurity about Maria’s perception that she’s banal.”
5. “Sissy Spacek.” For Interview, the actress is interviewed by Todd Field, who directed her to an Oscar nomination in In the Bedroom.
“Yeah. And Jack was always the actor, because David [Lynch] was behind the camera. David has always been the consummate artist. He made Eraserhead over several years. We’d always joke and tease him. There was one scene were Jack Nance, who was the main character, walked through a door and came out the other side five years later because it took him so long. David would shoot until he ran out of money. He was just tireless. And Jack was doing B pictures for Roger Corman at the time. Maybe it was a little later than that, actually. But he would work during the week, get paid, cash the check, and turn it over to David. He was also the Man in the Planet, in Eraserhead. I served as script supervisor for one day. The hardest thing was sharing David with the rest of the world when he did The Elephant Man . It was like, ’Okay, the cat’s out of the bag now; everybody knows. He doesn’t just belong to us anymore.’ He used to live at AFI, and to go see him—he was in the stables, because he wasn’t supposed to be living there—you’d have to find the hidden key then unlock the door on the outside. That could have been a real dangerous thing.”
Video of the Day: Twin Peaks without David Lynch is like…:
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