1. “Keanu Reeves on Not Receiving More Offers from Hollywood: ’It Sucks.’” Keanu Reeves continues to star in fun new action movies. But he still wishes there were more offers on the table.
“No, it sucks, but it’s just the way it is. You can have positive and negative experiences, but what I like about studios are the resources and the worlds that they can create. Obviously, a lot of good filmmakers work on studio movies. Even when I was working on studio movies more often, I was always doing independent movies. So for me, that was just not happening, but I want to keep going, making things, and telling stories. I want to be able to do that—to be an actor, a director, to produce, you know? If we’re going to do a delineation between studio and independent [films], I was always hoping to do both.”
2. “By Noon They’d Both Be in Heaven.” Kelli Stapleton, whose teenage daughter was autistic and prone to violent rages, had come to fear for her life. So she made a decision that perhaps only she could justify.
“Issy’s story is, among other things, a battle for media optics. In certain ways, it always had been, given that during Issy’s difficult years, Kelli had started her blog and began to do local TV interviews, hoping to bring awareness to parents who lived with severely aggressive children. Attractive and charismatic, Kelli would straightforwardly explain to the television audience that her daughter was going to kill her. More recently, Dr. Phil interviewed her in jail and aired a two-part special about her case. He included a picture or two of Issy with her family or tap-dancing with her mom, but it was a video of Kelli sobbing and screaming he returned to over and over.”
3. “Getting with the Program.” For Reverse Shot, Eric Hynes surveys the nonfiction landscape of the 2014 Toronto and New York film festivals.
“I love that there’s a privileged Main Slate, and that its moniker doesn’t distinguish between nonfiction and narrative, but the implications of its programming in light of its two doc outliers, and the separate Spotlight section, are hard to deny and to square. Having the Broomfield and Poitras docs as outliers in the Main Slate simultaneously asserts that these are the two superlative docs in the Festival, and that these are only two such docs worthy of the company of 29 narrative films. Is it that the Poitras and Broomfield films are perceived as having greater appeal because of their U.S. subjects, or greater newsworthiness because they touch on domestic issues? It would be unfortunate if so, given that these distinctions have nothing to do with the art or power of nonfiction films—surely of interest to a festival of festivals that offers a pulse-check on the state of the cinematic art—and also that it’s a standard that’s hardly applied to far-flung nonfiction titles like The Wonders, Timbuktu, Horse Money, or Hill of Freedom.”
4. “The Shonda Rhimes Revolution.” Mark Harris on how Rhimes is finishing what The Sopranos Started.
“That Old Testament truthbomb begat a decade of TV drama: Skyler White’s transformation from oblivion to suspicion to devastated knowledge to unsentimental participation; Joan Holloway’s decision to sell herself, and thus purchase a seat in the boardroom with the only currency she feels she has; Alicia Florrick’s now-weekly downward-defining of what ’good’ means. More than anyone else in television, Rhimes has taken that struggle off the back burner and made it the subject of her work. One thing none of her heroines can say is that they haven’t been told; in fact, they’ve told themselves. Both Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder could be retitled Complicity. They’re shows that explore how much you can know, or tacitly consent to, before you’re part of the disease. In Shondaland, knowledge is sin, and all of her heroines have taken a bite of the apple.”
5. “Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We’ve All Been Waiting For.” For Medium, white dude Michael Mark Cohen invites you to call him a douche.
“As far as white identities go, the douchebag stands in opposition to another growing white identity that, I believe, is getting a bad rap: the Hipster. We may be familiar with the personal style of the hipster, but in terms of their social position, the hipster represents a distinct generational / economic class of the over-educated and under-employed. From this position, on the cool edge of the class division, the hipster adopts an ironic stance towards white privilege. Rather than affect the corporate privilege position of the douchebag, the hipster adopts the ethos of craft labor, whether digital or manual, productive or service, while appropriating the identifying self markings (tattoos, piercings, beards, inexplicably tight pants, track bikes, etc.) of those communities traditionally ostracized by middle class and elite white communities (criminals, bohemians, sailors, lumberjacks, miners, immigrants, homosexuals, bike messengers etc). The hipster not only rejects her privilege through the strategic use of lip piercings and neck tattoos, but she stands with sneering disdain at the world’s underutilization of her own cultural capital.”
Video of the Day: Zach Galifianakis interviews Brad Pitt:
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