1. “Fashion Designer Oscar de la Renta Dead at 82.” He dressed some of the most famous women in the world and recently designed Amal Clooney’s wedding dress.
“Oscar de la Renta, the legendary Dominican-American fashion designer, has died at age 82, ABC News has confirmed. De la Renta had been battling cancer. His work became the preferred wear for such first ladies as Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush, and he designed the dress worn by Amal Alamuddin at her wedding in September to George Clooney. Movie stars such as Jessica Chastain, Penelope Cruz and Kristen Stewart also were great fans of the designer. De la Renta was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to a Dominican mother and a Puerto Rican father. At 18, he moved to Spain to study painting but then switched over to fashion, landing an apprenticeship with Spain’s most renowned couturier, Cristobal Balenciaga. “Soon I found that I was more interested in fashion design than I was in continuing as an illustrator,’ he once told the Toronto Star. ’I think that any experience you have; anything you pay attention to is part of what I call the ’baggage’ you carry with you all your life. My early involvement with painting, even the fact that I come from a tropical country, are part of who and what I am today.’”
2. “Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage.” How are YouTube videos criticizing sexist video games important enough to threaten a school shooting? Read the #GamerGate tag and realize that underneath the anger is fear.
“What exactly made so many people—let’s not be coy here, so many young white men—hate disco so much? An aversion to a steady dance backbeat? A dislike of orchestral instrumentation? What? Did it really have nothing to do with the fact that disco was popularized as ’black’ music? (Rock music was originally ’black’ music too, of course, but in a post-Elvis era it sure didn’t look that way, Jimi Hendrix aside. And Hendrix was nine years dead in 1979.) Did it have nothing to do with the embrace of disco by the gay community? Was it a coincidence that whenever anyone wanted to make disco artists the butt of a nasty joke their go-to example was The Village People and ’YMCA’? Did it have nothing to do with the fact that disco icons were frequently black women like Gloria Gaynor and Diana Ross, who sang anthems of empowerment like ’I Will Survive’ and ’I’m Coming Out’ and seemed like the polar opposite of the aggressively macho white frontmen rock fans idolized?”
3. “Surviving Desire.” Glenn Heath Jr. on the cinema of David Mackenzie
“Hold me. Thrill me. Kiss me. Kill me. The films of David Mackenzie envision life as a never-ending whirlwind of experience, a cyclone of emotion constantly spinning out of control. These feelings are heightened and externalized through melodrama, yet they can also simmer under the surface like hidden secrets waiting to explode. While his exhausted characters never fit into one social class—pop stars, artisan chefs and thuggish bruisers all take center stage—each sees the world in a similarly warped way. They are confused by inadequacy, defined by repression, purposefully solitary, and bordering on self-destruction. But most importantly they are also eager to transcend this unhappiness, especially after finding inspiration in another equally tormented individual. One must simply desire the opportunity to grow, to live, to survive.”
4. “Sarah Paulson Interview.” The American Horror Story star sits down for a chat with Julianne Moore.
“I like the time that you get. When I look at my career, the bulk of it has been television, and I love working in television, especially right now. But there’s a speed at which you do it. You’re doing seven to ten pages a day on a series, and it’s hard to feel like you’re doing the detail-oriented work that I like to do. Sometimes the speed helps you get out of your head and just go—you act on impulse and instinct, which can sometimes be better. You’re always working on something new, whereas if it’s a film or a piece of theater, you’re working on the same story. And I like the ritual. I’m addicted to routine. I don’t know if that’s because I moved around so much as child—by the time I was 12 years old, I had lived in about 10 different places. But I like going to the theater at a certain time. I like the ritual of putting on my makeup, putting on my costume, doing my warm-ups. I eat the same dinner every night before I go on stage. I like having something that I can count on, something that feels stabilizing for me.”
5. “L.M. Kit Carson, 1941 – 2014.” Co-writer and star of the landmark critique of cinéma vérité, David Holzman’s Diary.
“Word is going around among his friends that actor, producer, screenwriter and director L.M. Kit Carson has passed away at the age of 73. Sam Adams interviewed Carson for the A.V. Club in 2011, noting that he’d ’left his mark on some of the most important films of the last half-century. As the co-writer and star of 1967’s David Holzman’s Diary, he and director Jim McBride crafted a potent and funny critique of cinéma vérité’s claim to truth that doubles as a pre-emptive strike against the culture of YouTube confessionals. He watched the ’60s counterculture’s romance with Hollywood go down in flames on the set of Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie, filming the proceedings for the fascinating documentary The American Dreamer, and later filled in for an absent Sam Shepard by completing the script to Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas. A Dallas native,’ Carson would also help out ’a trio of local unknowns turn a handful of film scraps into a short, and then a feature, called Bottle Rocket, launching the careers of Wes Anderson and Owen and Luke Wilson.’”
Video of the Day: Over at Grantland, Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald go crazy for The Knick and talk Fury, Doctor Strange, and more:
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.