1. “Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize in Literature.” Modiano, the French novelist whose works often explore the traumas of the Nazi occupation of France and hinge on the themes of memory, alienation and the puzzle of identity, won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.
“In an announcement in Stockholm, the Swedish Academy cited Mr. Modiano’s ability to evoke ’the most ungraspable human destinies’ in his work. The Nobel, one of the most prestigious and financially generous awards in the world, comes with a $1.1 million prize. The literature prize is given out for a lifetime of writing rather than for a single work. Mr. Modiano was born in 1945 to a Belgian mother who worked as an actress and a Jewish-Italian father who was often absent during his childhood. Mr. Modiano, who has published around 30 works, including novels, children’s books and screenplays, first rose to prominence in 1968 with his novel La Place de l’Étoile. He won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978 for his novel Missing Person. Many of his fictional works are set in Paris and delve into the moral dilemmas that citizens faced under the Nazi occupation. Some play with the detective genre.”
2. “Find Your Beach.” Zadie Smith on the life of Manhattan.
“Find your beach. The construction is odd. A faintly threatening mixture of imperative and possessive forms, the transformation of a noun into a state of mind. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it. On the one hand it means, simply, ’Go out and discover what makes you happy.’ Pursue happiness actively, as Americans believe it their right to do. And it’s an ad for beer, which makes you happy in the special way of all intoxicants, by reshaping reality around a sensation you alone are having. So, even more precisely, the ad means: ’Go have a beer and let it make you happy.’ Nothing strange there. Except beer used to be sold on the dream of communal fun: have a beer with a buddy, or lots of buddies. People crowded the frame, laughing and smiling. It was a lie about alcohol—as this ad is a lie about alcohol—but it was a different kind of lie, a wide-framed lie, including other people.”
3. “Shonda Rhimes Opens Up About ’Angry Black Woman’ Flap, Messy Grey’s Anatomy Chapter and the Scandal Impact.” TV’s most powerful showrunner talks candidly about the role of race and gender in Hollywood and the conversation that, she says, “pisses me off.”
“When I join Rhimes, 44, a single mother of three, in her homey office at Hollywood’s Sunset Gower Studios, the furor has settled down and she’s reflecting on the positives that have come out of it. ’Some really amazing articles were written that had the conversation that I’ve been trying to have for a very long time, which, coming from me, makes me sound like I’m just, ’Rrrraw!’’ she mimics a roar, her painted nails clawing the air. Her inbox has been deluged with notes from concerned friends and colleagues, many of whom called for the piece to be retracted. Rhimes would prefer it remain: ’In this world in which we all feel we’re so full of gender equality and we’re a postracial [society] and Obama is president, it’s a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal.’”
4. “Film Is What You Use to Make Movies.” Aaron Aradillas on what the Quentin Tarantino and Interstellar stories say about the growing divisions between celluloid lovers and digital projection.
“Tarantino’s ’television in public’ battle cry misses the whole point of what marks the difference between the two mediums. He seems to think it’s a matter of film vs. digital, when anyone knows television has been shot on both tape and film almost from its inception. The ’flicker effect’ of movies is only one small component of going to the movies. Going to the movies involves a group of strangers getting together and sharing the experience of looking up at the movies. Watching television is more solitary and has the viewer looking down or straight ahead. Movies are designed to overwhelm us with emotions. Most television is more cerebral, with a shelf life of seven days. And no matter how big a TV monitor you have you still can’t replicate the movie-going experience. Not because you’re watching a DVD, but because you’re not sharing the experience of looking up at the screen.”
5. “Orson Welles: A Centennial Celebration and Symposium.” Presented by The Media School at Indiana University, IU Libraries, and Indiana University Cinema.
“May 6, 2015, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of actor, writer, producer and director Orson Welles. There will be numerous celebrations of this date at cinemas and institutions worldwide. Indiana University will host one of the most significant collections of scholars, writers, filmmakers and archivists who have been key figures in in the scholarship surrounding Welles’ work. This 4-day symposium will include keynote addresses, academic sessions, paper presentations, a major exhibit of Welles materials, evening special presentations featuring introductions and discussions with guest scholars, filmmakers and archivists, tours of IU’s facilities and collections, and social events.”
Video of the Day: The video for Natas Loves You’s “Got to Belong,” directed by Larry Clark:
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.