1. “Malaysian Leader Says Flight 370 Ended in Ocean.” Malaysia’s prime minister said Monday that further analysis of satellite data confirmed that the missing Malaysian airliner went down in the southern Indian Ocean.
“The new analysis of the flight path, the prime minister said, came from Inmarsat, the British company that provided the satellite data, and from Britain’s air safety agency. The company had ’used a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort,’ he said. Shortly before the prime minister spoke at 10 p.m. local time, Malaysia Airlines officials informed relatives of the missing passengers and crew gathered at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur, and sent text messages to those elsewhere. The hunt for the missing plane has focused on the southern Indian Ocean area in recent days, and an Australian naval vessel searched there on Monday after a military surveillance aircraft spotted what was described as possible debris from the missing jetliner. Mr. Najibsaid the Malaysian authorities would hold a news conference on Tuesday to give further details about the satellite data analysis and other developments in the search.”
2. “In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s a hard world for little things (and everyone else).” Mike D’Angelo does an extensive career view on the life and work of the Coens.
“It’s taken the better part of three decades for people to catch on to the strain of sorrowful pessimism in the Coen brothers’ work, or at least to grudgingly accept it. For many years, the Coens were dismissed as soulless mimics who looked upon all of their characters with contempt—a cardinal sin in some circles. The same objection had previously been lodged, mostly by the same critics, against filmmakers like Robert Altman and Stanley Kubrick, both of whom shared the Coens’ grim outlook (and who, like them, tended to be unforgiving toward human nature even in their ostensible comedies). Because the Coens have tried their hand at numerous genres, from noir to screwball to outright surrealism, it wasn’t immediately apparent that they were making the same basic movie over and over. After 30 years and 16 features, however, it’s now hard not to notice that prototypical Coen protagonists are hapless, well-meaning schlemiels upon whom life exacts a toll that’s much worse than they deserve. There are exceptions, but even these generally involve loss in some form or another. The Dude’s rug really tied the whole room together.”
3. “Futures & Pasts: The Bowery & Gangs of New York.” Nick Pinkerton on Raoul Walsh’s pre-Code films.
“Like The Bowery, Gangs takes place in a New York that is less of a simmering melting pot than a volatile, experimental chemical combination threatening to explode. And though The Bowery may be the Walsh film that Gangs most closely resembles, Scorsese’s film draws quite freely from other works which defined the mythology of New York during the latter half of the 19th century: not only the 1928 book from which the movie takes its title, the first of journalist Herbert Asbury’s several collections of largely apocryphal underworld lore, but Luc Sante’s 1991 compendium Low Life, and the films of another New Yorker a couple of generations Walsh’s junior, Sam Fuller. A key reference is Park Row, Fuller’s 1952 saga of newspaper circulation wars in a New York City roughly contemporary to that of Walsh’s The Bowery. Self-producing for the first time, Fuller blew his bankroll constructing a studio replica of the area around City Hall that was the locus of the city’s newspaper business, while Gangs is centered on the closed world of Manhattan’s Five Points district, built on a Cinecittà soundstage by production designer Dante Ferretti.”
4. ”’Homeland’ Actor James Rebhorn Dead at 65.” The industry veteran, who passed away at home on Friday, played memorable supporting characters on film and TV.
“James Rebhorn, the busy character actor who played the father of Claire Danes’ troubled C.I.A. officer Carrie Mathison on the Showtime drama Homeland, has died. He passed away on Friday, his agent Dianne Busch confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 65. ’He died from melanoma, which had been diagnosed in 1992,’ Busch stated. ’He fought it all this time. He died Friday afternoon at his home in New Jersey, where he had been receiving hospice care for a week and a half.’”
5. “The Overprotected Kid.” A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
“If a 10-year-old lit a fire at an American playground, someone would call the police and the kid would be taken for counseling. At the Land, spontaneous fires are a frequent occurrence. The park is staffed by professionally trained ’playworkers,’ who keep a close eye on the kids but don’t intervene all that much. Claire Griffiths, the manager of the Land, describes her job as ’loitering with intent.’ Although the playworkers almost never stop the kids from what they’re doing, before the playground had even opened they’d filled binders with ’risk benefits assessments’ for nearly every activity. (In the two years since it opened, no one has been injured outside of the occasional scraped knee.) Here’s the list of benefits for fire: ’It can be a social experience to sit around with friends, make friends, to sing songs to dance around, to stare at, it can be a co-operative experience where everyone has jobs. It can be something to experiment with, to take risks, to test its properties, its heat, its power, to re-live our evolutionary past.’ The risks? ’Burns from fire or fire pit’ and ’children accidentally burning each other with flaming cardboard or wood.’ In this case, the benefits win, because a playworker is always nearby, watching for impending accidents but otherwise letting the children figure out lessons about fire on their own.”
Video of the Day: X-Men: Days of Future Past gets a new trailer:
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