1. “Streets of Ferguson smolder after grand jury decides not to indict officer.” When a grand jury decided Monday not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, chaos filled the streets.
“This is what Ferguson looked like Tuesday morning. Shattered glass from looted stores covered the asphalt. Shell casings from unknown shooters littered the ground. And more than a dozen buildings, including stores owned by local residents, had been set ablaze. As protesters hurled bottles, batteries and rocks at police, officers in riot gear responded by shooting bean bags and tear gas. ’This ain’t Iraq. This is the United States,’ Demetric Whitlock yelled to a line of police officers on South Florissant Road, in front of the Ferguson Police Department. When a grand jury decided Monday not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the news triggered fresh confrontations between protesters and police in the tense Missouri city. While most of the demonstrators peacefully protested on the streets, some smashed the windows of a police cruiser and set another on fire.”
2. “The Bill Cosby Issue: Processing the Fall of an Icon.” This is an email exchange between Grantland’s Wesley Morris and Rembert Browne, which was set to have begun on Monday, actually began on Wednesday, and wrapped up today.
“To take your ’we’re all Huxtables’ idea further, this is the murk of cognitive dissonance in which we find ourselves whenever a noble or talented man is potentially exposed as disappointingly or disgustingly human. Our presidents, preachers, and sport figures, our fathers, freedom fighters, and filmmakers: Throw a rock, hit an adulterer or a sex offender, or worse. Bill Cosby presents a particularly peculiar occasion for dismay. His forward-facing self has been the opposite of—though not at odds with—what at least 15 women have bravely come forward to accuse him of being: a monster.”
3. “Is Beyoncé the Future of Digital Cinema?” For Slate, Phillip Maciak ponders the question.
“This interactivity produces a sense of viewer ownership—tech-savvy Twitterers were surely marking time-stamps for their GIFs even on first viewing—but it also showcases a different type of ownership that defines the era of digital cinema: ’7/11’ is a selfie. Most, if not all, of the video seems to have been shot on Beyoncé’s iPhone (or was it a GoPro?), sometimes with the aid of a handy ’selfie stick.’ It’s low budget, hand-held, and features non-professional actors like Jay Z and Blue Ivy—if there was ever a moment to compare a Beyoncé video to the Mumblecore movement, this is it. We may have an inflated understanding of what everyday life in the Knowles-Carter household is like, but it doesn’t seem like a stretch to say that ’7/11’ is what ’ordinary’ looks like for Beyoncé. At the very least, it’s the kind of first-person visual statement that the accessibility of digital cameras has enabled over the past two decades and that has now come to define its aesthetic.”
4. ”Foxcatcher’s Gay Subtext ’Rough Trade’ to the Movies.” J. Bryan Lowder on the film’s troubling (non-)depiction of homosexuality.
“These historical plot points aside, Miller spends most of his film rhapsodizing on the troubled relationship between du Pont and his new toy Mark, an (over)grown man with the injured-yet-credulous soul of an abused puppy. If I made supercuts, I’d make one of the many minutes of tape in which Carell gazes luridly over his prosthetic nose at Tatum’s physique from some darkened corner or couch, and I’d punctuate it with actual lines from the film like ’you look good—strong, fit,’ and ’excellent bed—good mattress, firm.’ And if I were forced to spell out the tortured metaphor that Miller insists on advancing throughout the movie, I’d explain that Mark is a fine specimen of man-flesh that du Pont really, really wants to ride. (Mother raises horses; shouldn’t sonny have a thoroughbred of his own?) By Foxcatcher’s logic, the reason du Pont shoots David in the end is essentially because brothers get to nuzzle one another and if-I-can’t-pet-him-no-one-can.”
5. “Albert Serra Interview.” Our own Steve Macfarlane chats with the filmmaker about Casanova, Dracula, and art in the age of digital filmmaking.
“That influence came a little bit later. I was born near Figueres, Dali’s hometown, where he made Un chien andalou with Buñuel, and I was influenced by this approach. Not so much by the formal content of the film but by the attitude, you know? The Surrealist or Dadaist stuff. Some of them were saying the same thing as I am: whether they were making pictures, or paintings, or actions, it was just for fun. History has judged it afterwards as art. Even if they were serious, it was subversive, fun stuff. Even if it’s a little bit pretentious, I like this word ’subversive.’”
Video of the Day: Werner Herzog on Les Blank’s Spend It All:
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.