1. “Interview: Mia Wasikowska.” For Film Comment, Nick Davis sits down with the star of Madame Bovary.
“Well, the main thing, which continues to happen all the time for Emma, is that something she expects—an ideal, maybe, or a fantasy that she has in her mind—yields to a reality that is very, very different. Her actions always kind of result from that disconnect. She’s constantly trying to fill a void. She’s in an emotionless marriage, she’s very alone, she can’t connect to people. All her behavior and all her actions result from just what she feels in a given moment. And I find it very sad, when people just aren’t—well, when they aren’t given any tools to figure out a way to live, basically. She just stays stuck in this tangled mess of her own emotions.”
2. “Television’s Long History of Humiliating Poor People.” The Briefcase and Britain’s Hardest Grafter enter the annals of Misery TV.
“That’s the most uneasy part of watching the The Briefcase—knowing that in 2015 these precarious members of the shrinking middle class don’t have any place to go. The working-class women who went on Queen for a Day in the ’50s were told that consumer goods could make them happy, and in a post–New Deal America that was easy to buy. A washing machine could give a woman a livelihood. Stuff was a solution, at least partly. But the families in The Briefcase already have washing machines and full kitchens and neatly trimmed lawns. What they don’t have is medical insurance, or maternity leave.”
3. “Is Translation an Art or a Math Problem?” For The New York Times Magazine, Gideon Lewis-Kraus ponders the question.
“Translation promises unity but entails betrayal. In his wonderful survey of the history and practice of translation, Is That a Fish in Your Ear?, the translator David Bellos explains that the very idea of ’infidelity’ has roots in the Ottoman Empire. The sultans and the members of their court refused to learn the languages of the infidels, so the task of expediting communication with Europe devolved upon a hereditary caste of translators, the Phanariots. They were Greeks with Venetian citizenship residing in Istanbul. European diplomats never liked working with them, because their loyalty was not to the intent of the foreign original but to the sultan’s preference. (Ottoman Turkish apparently had no idiom about not killing the messenger, so their work was a matter of life or death.) We retain this lingering association of translation with treachery.”
4. “Jean Gruault R.I.P.” The acclaimed screenwriter, who worked with Rivette, Trauffaut, Rossellini, among others, dies at 90.
“Outside of his alliance with Truffaut, Gruault worked with many of the major figures of the French cinema of the era. An early role for the writer came with Paris Belongs To Us, which he wrote with Jacques Rivette. He would again collaborate with Rivette on the infamous The Nun, which he adapted alongside the director from the Denis Diderot novel. Having worked on the script for Jean-Luc Godard’s Les carabiniers alongside Godard and Roberto Rossellini, Gruault would collaborate further with the latter on the underrated The Taking Of Power By Louis XIV, the picture which saw the Italian filmmaker enter his TV period (and with it become a formidable and pioneering figure in the ’CINEMA IS DEAD’ choir).”
5. ”Mad Women.” Over at Filmmaker, an excerpt from Jeff Lipsky’s memoir.
“My life (and my art) changed in December 1970 when I first saw John Cassavetes’ polarizing masterpiece Husbands, alone, at the Cinema I on New York’s Upper East Side. I was seventeen. It’s the story of three forty-year-old friends, successful New York suburbanites, who have to face mortality head-on for possibly the first time in their lives, and deal with it by committing to a weekend of puerile irresponsibility and childish debauchery, for (possibly) the last time in their lives. It was an adult movie in which I recognized real people and in which I recognized myself. Even given the twenty-three year difference in our ages, I identified with their flaws, virtues, frailties, silliness, and passion. I had seen John’s previous film, Faces, when I was fifteen but it mostly went over my head. I saw it again in early 1971 and knew right then that John would be my cinematic guru, forever.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk:
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