1. “Lauren Bacall R.I.P.” The star of Hollywood’s Golden Age dies at 89.
“Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart. ’Her life speaks for itself,’ Mr. Bogart said. ’She lived a wonderful life, a magical life.’ With an insinuating pose and a seductive, throaty voice—her simplest remark sounded like a jungle mating call, one critic said—Ms. Bacall shot to fame in 1944 with her first movie, Howard Hawks’s adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel To Have and Have Not, playing opposite Humphrey Bogart, who became her lover on the set and later her husband. It was a smashing debut sealed with a handful of lines now engraved in Hollywood history. “You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve,’ her character says to Bogart’s in the movie’s most memorable scene. ’You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.’”
2. “You’re 16. You’re a Pedophile. You Don’t Want to Hurt Anyone. What Do You Do Now?” There’s no helpline for pedophiles who want treatment before they act. So a teen with a terrible secret had to find his own way to save himself and others like him.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that most pedophiles first notice an attraction toward children when they themselves are between 11 and 16, mirroring that of any other sexual awakening. It can be a confusing time for any of us, but imagine realizing that you’re attracted to little kids. How do these young men and women negotiate that with no viable role models or support network? There is no It Gets Better for pedophiles. Are they all fated to end up as child molesters? Or is it possible for them to live a life without hurting children at all?”
3. “Robin Williams: A Brief Encounter.” David Simon remembers working with the actor on the set of Homicide.
“You had to be there. And, yes, I know that the phrase is used to connote moments that are less humorous in retrospect, but with Mr. Williams the live-wire volatility, the no-net comic gymnastics was part of the allure. If you were there, and I was, then you could scarcely breathe from laughing so hard and so long. The crew stopped working, forming a semicircle around him. Word went down the hallway and out to the trucks. More people rushed in to catch the shooting sparks, so that the entire production came to a halt as Robin Williams, quiet for days in the role of a grieving, wounded man, finally exploded. He was soaring for at least another five minutes before Mr. Levinson gave the slightest nods to his watch: We were losing the day.”
4. “The Essential Black Independents.” Brandon Harris, for Fandor, on 25 films from a global pool of black cinema that have to be seen.
“The novelist Colson Whitehead was recently asked by The New York Times who his favorite writer and replied, ’I don’t know the name of my favorite novelist of all time, because they never wrote anything.’ So apt. Perhaps my favorite director of ’black independent films,’ a term that may or may not remain relevant to cultural production in the years to come, hasn’t even made her first film yet, or perhaps never will; they’ll choose to be a father or a homemaker or a plumber or a print archivist, a good daughter or a generous uncle, someone who in their actual life will never know what they could have made because they made practical choices not governed by ego or pain or unshakable insight, often the biggest drivers for any artists. But among those who were lucky, or foolhardy enough to forge ahead and tell stories with images and sounds, these are twenty-five real standouts. Go forth and see them.”
5. “Come and Stream Your Songs?” The jukebox soundtrack in the YouTube/Spotify era.
“If we are searching for logic for the soundtrack’s success, we can point to both the film itself and the discourse surrounding it. One key element is the music’s integration into the film: whereas franchises like The Hunger Games and Twilight have released albums with songs ’inspired by’ the films, the Guardians soundtrack is entirely music that is used during the film itself. Moreover, the music—in the form of the actual cassette mixtape—plays a diegetic role in the film’s storyline, even being positioned as a point of anticipation for the film’s sequel in the midst of its conclusion. There are moments where you get excited to hear a song you know well used during a key scene (like ’Moonage Daydream’), there are songs that you want to revisit with new ears after seeing them in a new context (like ’Hooked On A Feeling,’ which previewed the soundtrack’s success when it was used for the film’s first trailer), and there are songs you may not be familiar with but are used in ways that encourage you to find out what that song was (which for me was Redbone’s ’Come And Get Your Love,’ used in the film’s opening credit sequence).”
Video of the Day: Lauren Bacall, with Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not:
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