1. “Louis Jourdan R.I.P.” Star of such films as Octopussy and Gigi dies at 93.
“Louis Jourdan, who crafted a Hollywood acting career in the footsteps of fellow dapper Frenchmen Maurice Chevalier and Charles Boyer and is best remembered for the musical Gigi and as the villain in James Bond pic Octopussy, has died at 93. According to his friend and biographer Olivier Minne, he died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills. Jourdan offered a certain effortless charm that worked equally well in light heroic roles and more sinister ones. ’He was the last French figure of the Hollywood golden age. And he worked with so many of the greatest actors and directors,’ said Minne, who is working on a documentary and a book about Jourdan. In Vincente Minnelli’s 1958 musical confection Gigi, Jourdan starred with Leslie Caron and Chevalier in an effort from the creatives of My Fair Lady and highly resembling a Frenchified version of it. The New York Times said, ’Louis Jourdan is suave as the hero who holds out against (Gigi’s) blossoming charms.’”
2. “A Conversation with Jonathan Franzen.” This conversation between Booth’s Susan Lerner and “arguably the best living American novelist” has been making the rounds because of some of his arguably douche responses.
“Most of what people read, if you go to the bookshelf in the airport convenience store and look at what’s there, even if it doesn’t have a YA on the spine, is YA in its moral simplicity. People don’t want moral complexity. Moral complexity is a luxury. You might be forced to read it in school, but a lot of people have hard lives. They come home at the end of the day, they feel they’ve been jerked around by the world yet again for another day. The last thing they want to do is read Alice Munro, who is always pointing toward the possibility that you’re not the heroic figure you think of yourself as, that you might be the very dubious figure that other people think of you as. That’s the last thing you’d want if you’ve had a hard day. You want to be told good people are good, bad people are bad, and love conquers all. And love is more important than money. You know, all these schmaltzy tropes. That’s exactly what you want if you’re having a hard life. Who am I to tell people that they need to have their noses rubbed in moral complexity?”
3. “Madonna Talks Fifty Shades of Grey (’Not Very Sexy’), the Pope and Why the ’Word Police Can F—- Off.’” The singer speaks with Billboard’s Vanessa Grigoriadis.
“Catholicism feels like my alma mater. It’s the school I used to go to, and I can go back any time I want and take whatever I want from it because I suffered all the oppression, and all the abuse—and also enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance, the drama and the confusion and the hypocrisy and the craziness. I feel like I can say whatever I want and do whatever I want. I’ve been ex-communicated by the Catholic Church a few times. But I also feel like this new pope is kind of groovy, and I think we might be able to get together and have a chat about sex.”
4. “A Black Mississippi Judge’s Breathtaking Speech To 3 White Murderers.” Here’s an astonishing speech by U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, one of just two African-Americans to have ever served as federal judges in Mississippi. He read it to three young white men before sentencing them for the death of a 48-year-old black man named James Craig Anderson in a parking lot in Jackson, Miss., one night in 2011.
“Hate comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and from this case, we know it comes in different sexes and ages. A toxic mix of alcohol, foolishness and unadulterated hatred caused these young people to resurrect the nightmarish specter of lynchings and lynch mobs from the Mississippi we long to forget. Like the marauders of ages past, these young folk conspired, planned, and coordinated a plan of attack on certain neighborhoods in the city of Jackson for the sole purpose of harassing, terrorizing, physically assaulting and causing bodily injury to black folk. They punched and kicked them about their bodies — their heads, their faces. They prowled. They came ready to hurt. They used dangerous weapons; they targeted the weak; they recruited and encouraged others to join in the coordinated chaos; and they boasted about their shameful activity. This was a 2011 version of the nigger hunts.”
5. ”Mrs. Miniver: The film that Goebbels feared.” Winston Churchill credited Mrs. Miniver with increasing American support for the war effort. A new programme finds out how the domestic drama changed history.
“A scene near the end—in which a vicar delivers a sermon in a bombed-out church—was rewritten by [William] Wyler and Henry Wilcoxon, the actor playing the vicar, the night before it was filmed. President Roosevelt requested that it be translated into several languages and air-dropped over German-occupied territory; it was also reprinted in Time and Look magazines. The ultimate endorsement came from an unlikely source. Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote that Mrs Miniver ’shows the destiny of a family during the current war, and its refined powerful propagandistic tendency has up to now only been dreamed of. There is not a single angry word spoken against Germany; nevertheless the anti-German tendency is perfectly accomplished.’”
Video of the Day: Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak gets a teaser trailer:
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.