1. “A Conversation With Dr. Lecter on the Strange New Season of Hannibal.” Matt Zoller Seitz’s review of the show’s third season is framed as an interview with the fictional lead.
“Yes. And fairy-tale signifiers are everywhere here. The show is all signifiers. They tell us how to watch the show. As a painting, an opera. A bedtime story. A poem. There’s talk in the premiere of Dante’s Inferno, and when they show you lecturing a class on it, they have you standing in front of a slide projector, and the projector is casting an image of Satan onto you, so that his face is superimposed over your face, and his wings seem to be growing out of your back. Admittedly it’s a bit on-the-nose, but dreams often are, too.”
2. “Digital Journalism: How Good Is It?” Michael Massing sets off on a grand (though necessarily selective) tour of journalistic websites. How creative and innovative has digital journalism been? How much impact has it had?
“That digital technology is disrupting the business of journalism is beyond dispute. What’s striking is how little attention has been paid to the impact that technology has had on the actual practice of journalism. The distinctive properties of the Internet—speed, immediacy, interactivity, boundless capacity, global reach—provide tremendous new opportunities for the gathering and presentation of news and information. Yet amid all the coverage of start-ups and IPOs, investments and acquisitions, little attempt has been made to evaluate the quality of Web-based journalism, despite its ever-growing influence.”
3. “The Silent Women of Entourage.” The slightness of the women’s roles, argues Richard Brody, is indicative of what is obtuse and retrograde about the movie.
“The young, bikini-clad or topless women partying aboard the yacht where the movie’s first scene occurs—who are they? What do they do for a living? What are their aspirations? Who invited them to the party? And why did they go? Is that what it takes for a young woman to succeed in Hollywood? To attend parties run by men with money and power in the hope of appealing to one of them enough to get cast in a role or hired for a job? The men at the center of the movie have repellent attitudes, but there’s nothing to suggest that they’re violent or coercive. What do they say or do to induce young women to have sex with them?—or, rather, what’s in it for the women? What motivates them to have one-night or one-morning or one-afternoon stands with the likes of E.? Why does Emily Ratajkowski (the character) want to be with Vince? For the business? For perceived advantage? To satisfy her own desires? It’s the subject of the film—and the movie’s director, Doug Ellin (who’s also the creator of the TV series on which it’s based), doesn’t get anywhere near it.”
4. “Machines and Fleshapoid Fallibility.” Molly Lambert, for Grantland, on electronic music and Halt and Catch Fire.
“Halt and Catch Fire’s score is provided by Paul Haslinger, a mid-’80s member of Tangerine Dream. Like many seminal ’80s soundtracks, the score for Halt uses electronic sounds to create an atmosphere of paranoia, the clean minimalism of synths clashing with the messy dust of real life. The soundtrack choices for Halt straddle the complications of the decade: Joe MacMillan, the recovering yuppie played by Lee Pace, is affiliated with the clean, obsessive, sometimes sinister synth- and drum-machine-heavy sound of artists like Gary Numan, Kraftwerk, and Eurythmics. The show’s soundtrack deals with the spectrum of organic sound, locating the practiced faux-spontaneity existent in punk and the natural fault lines and cracks in the glassy sound of chic synth pop. The characters occupy the junctures between genres. Each one is an ’80s type but also an implosion of that type: Gordon the Neuromancer-reading tech-geek, Cameron the alien punk, Joe the recovering yuppie, and Donna the ’80s power businesswoman. Within each type and its accompanying genre of music, there is the echo of the ongoing conversation.”
5. “Interview: Thom Andersen.” For Film Comment, Nick Pinkerton chats with the director of Los Angeles Plays Itself and Red Hollywood.
“I’ve been teaching a particular class off and on for a number of years, kind of a ’Deleuze for filmmakers.’ Using the text to help people generate images, generate juxtapositions among images, between images and sounds. I recorded the class in the spring of 2014, with the idea that the class itself could become a long movie. Which was kind of stupid. It could’ve been an online course, but I wanted it to be high production value, a hundred hour movie, something like that. But I didn’t really have the patience to take that on myself, so I guess this was a kind of alternative to that, something simpler. That’s kind of how it happened, starting last summer. There was also an impulse to collect great moments in the history of cinema, something really simple. I think what turned it was finding the title. Or the idea of putting in those two scenes that appear at just about the end of the movie, of people reading books. It occurred to me that there was something kind of cinematic about reading books. When I had the ending sort of figured out, that’s when it occurred to me that it might be a real movie, as opposed to a… bagatelle. Something that you might put on to amuse your friends.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth:
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