1. “Pete Seeger R.I.P.” The Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music Dies at 94.
“In his hearty tenor, Mr. Seeger, a beanpole of a man who most often played 12-string guitar or five-string banjo, sang topical songs and children’s songs, humorous tunes and earnest anthems, always encouraging listeners to join in. His agenda paralleled the concerns of the American left: He sang for the labor movement in the 1940s and 1950s, for civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War rallies in the 1960s, and for environmental and antiwar causes in the 1970s and beyond. ’We Shall Overcome,’ which Mr. Seeger adapted from old spirituals, became a civil rights anthem. “
2. “The Woody Allen Allegations: Not So Fast.” Robert B. Weide on the rush to judge Woody Allen.
“I am not here to slam Mia. I think she’s an exceptional actress and I seriously admire her political activism. (I even follow her on Twitter.) But those who hate Woody ’for what he did to Mia,’ should be reminded that if Sinatra was indeed Ronan’s biological father, it’s not the first time Mia had a child by a married man. In 1969, at the age of 24, she became pregnant by musician/composer André Previn, 40, who was still married to singer/songwriter Dory Previn. The betrayal is said to have led to Dory Previn’s mental breakdown and institutionalization, during which she received electroconvulsive therapy. She would later write a song called, ’Beware of Young Girls’ about Mia. Maybe sleeping with your friend’s husband doesn’t earn as many demerits as sleeping with your girlfriend’s adopted daughter, but if you’re waving the ’Never Forget’ banner in Mia’s honor, let’s be consistent and take a moment to also remember the late Dory Previn. (Or better yet, let’s forget the whole damn thing, considering it’s none of our business.).”
3. “Quentin Tarantino vs. Gawker.” Tarantino files suit against gossip site.
” In a federal court filing, he accused the site of ’blatant copyright infringement by their promotion and dissemination of unauthorized downloadable copies of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay.’ ’There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic’ about what Gawker did, the suit charges. Although Gawker did not post the script to its own site, Tarantino’s attorney charged the script would not have been widely accessible if Gawker had not linked to it. Gawker turned down repeated requests to remove links to download the script, the complaint charges. A Gawker post offering links to the script remained online Monday.” [Gawker responds here.]
4. “Almost Everything in Dr. Strangelove Was True.” Eric Schlosser on all the facts behind the Stanley Kubrick classic.
“Despite public assurances that everything was fully under control, in the winter of 1964, while Dr. Strangelove was playing in theatres and being condemned as Soviet propaganda, there was nothing to prevent an American bomber crew or missile launch crew from using their weapons against the Soviets. Kubrick had researched the subject for years, consulted experts, and worked closely with a former R.A.F. pilot, Peter George, on the screenplay of the film. George’s novel about the risk of accidental nuclear war, Red Alert, was the source for most of Strangelove’s plot. Unbeknownst to both Kubrick and George, a top official at the Department of Defense had already sent a copy of Red Alert to every member of the Pentagon’s Scientific Advisory Committee for Ballistic Missiles. At the Pentagon, the book was taken seriously as a cautionary tale about what might go wrong. Even Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara privately worried that an accident, a mistake, or a rogue American officer could start a nuclear war.”
5. “The Romantic Comedy Is Dying, but Cinematic Romance Is Thriving.” Films like Enough Said and The Spectacular Now offer one solution for stale rom-coms.
“I may be somewhat optimistic in anticipating the future of romantic comedies to be one so accepting of diversity and realism. Formula is, after all, comforting. Films that seek to emulate real life—heartbreak and tragedy included—can be less so. It may also be optimistic to declare the synchronous timing of these movies to be a new emerging status quo. After all, these seven films didn’t exactly achieve massive popularity: Their cumulative box office total is less than $50 million so far. Which is perhaps not bad considering how few theaters showed these films, but still a sign of a piddling lack of support. Still, I like to think prevalence could maybe mean change. Cinema, like nature, can abhor a vacuum. With no romantic-comedy revival in sight, and audiences’ ability to occasionally adapt, there’s a chance a different kind of romance could ascend. Or romantic comedies could at least evolve to adapt these characteristics.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem:
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