1. “MTV Movie Awards.” Katniss vs. ...uh…Solomon Northup?
“The MTV Movie Award nominations arrive hot on the heels of the Oscar ceremony. This awards show happens on April 13th. MTV, even moreso than the Globes is all about nominating big stars they think we’ll give them ratings even if they stick out like sore thumbs in their category. That’s why I have to admit shock that 12 Years a Slave shows up repeatedly in their nominations. I thought it far too sober, artistic, and adult for the awards show that kept holding the Twilight franchise up as some kind of pinnacle of filmmaking. It’s hard to consider them being nominated for the same prize, much less existing in the same universe. Gravity, which weirdly isn’t up for Movie of the Year would have been a far more MTV like choice. Honestly I can’t figure it. In some way this is a bit more like the MTV Movie Awards of yore which would give prizes to Wes Anderson before he even had a fanbase to speak of. But maybe it’s all merely a happy accident that two of the most Oscar nominated movies of the year (American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street) are also ’fun’ and so MTV responds in kind.”
2. “Who are the real gay marriage bigots?” A nasty intolerant streak runs through the argument of some gay rights supporters.
“As I’ve made clear repeatedly in my writing, I support gay marriage and am cheered that advocates for it have made such stunning legal and cultural gains so quickly. I consider these gains to be broadly harmonious with recent legal precedents and cultural trends, as well as the deeper political implications of liberal democratic government and theological implications of Christian egalitarianism. But I’m also troubled by the equally stunning lack of charity, magnanimity, and tolerance displayed by many gay-marriage advocates. This very much includes Mark Joseph Stern, Henry Farrell, and others who are cheering them on. Roughly speaking, for all of recorded human history until a couple of decades ago, virtually no one even entertained the possibility that homosexuals might seek to marry, let alone advocated it. In that brief span of time—a figurative blink of an eye in cultural terms—gay marriage has gone from being an oxymoron to a lived reality in several states and an institution accepted by majorities or pluralities in most demographic categories. If that isn’t a cultural revolution, then nothing is.”
3. “Mayor’s Approval Rating Hits 39% in Poll.” Poll of Registered Voters in New York City Comes Two Months After Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Took Office.
“The poll found a significant racial divide, with black and Latino voters, Mr. de Blasio’s base, giving him significantly higher marks than white voters. Mr. de Blasio, who is white, is married to Chirlane McCray, who is black; enormous support among minority voters propelled him to a landslide victory in November. The poll showed 50% of black voters and 45% of Latino voters approve of Mr. de Blasio’s job performance, while 30% of white voters gave him positive marks. In the Bronx and Brooklyn, more than four in 10 voters approved of the mayor’s job performance, while 30% give him positive marks in Manhattan. In Queens and on Staten Island, 36% rated him excellent or good.”
4. “Whatever happened to the Qatari film industry?” In Doha, there was once a buzzing festival and schemes to nurture local talent, but now much of the the money in the Qatari film business goes to projects elsewhere—such as the $55m co-production Black Gold.
“Landing less than a year after this diminutive, gas-rich Gulf state contentiously won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, Black Gold symbolises another of the country’s bold attempts to put itself on the map. But while its plans for the football tournament continue to garner column inches (even if almost entirely disapproving), any interest in its cinematic ambitions has all but dried up. Last month, the Doha Film Institute—the cultural organisation behind the film and festival—laid off a third of its workforce, the second major round of redundancies in just over a year. Entire departments vanished overnight, as long-term staff members were escorted out of the building.”
5. “Op-ed: In Defense of Jared Leto.” Transsexual acting coach Calpernia Addams on trans roles in Hollywood.
“My job was to sit down with him and answer lots of questions about what it’s like to be trans and to make a recording of me reading his lines from the script. From there, Jared did Jared’s thing: A brilliant, eccentric artist created his own portrayal of a movie character, which, in this case, happened to be some form of trans. His follow-up speeches left something to be desired when it came to speaking well on the issues facing his character, especially against the backdrop of current politics and social movements. I suppose it’s doubly rare to be a gifted artist and a great political speaker. But personally, I thought Rayon seemed like a nice person and a real human being. I’ve known people like Rayon.”
Video of the Day: Bret Easton Ellis’s video for Dum Dum Girls’ “Are You Okay”:
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.