1. “The Niles Files: Remembrance of Matinees Past.” Niles Schwartz on why we can’t let go of the past at the movies.
“It’s obvious that what we’re looking at, assuming I’m measuring the demographic correctly, are the films of our own lifelines, and in remembering those moving pictures we’re struggling to remember the consonance and reason of our lives and relationships. That’s kind of the allure of motion pictures anyway–the alchemy of taking something still and lifeless, and through a magic spindle and light, resurrecting it. It bridges on a kind of religious longing for the eternal, or as Martin Scorsese remarked, ’The reality is, for people who create anything…you always want to be remembered.’ There’s something vain and Promethean about it all, but natural and very human. The library’s microfiche set aside by Internet and a collector’s rarities now in the widely graspable realm of YouTube, our nostalgia is coddled and nurtured. The instinct for solipsism thrives with this annotated moving archive at our fingertips. The memorializing process is a constant sacrament combating the instinct to forget, ’Do this in memory of me’ intoned every week as in the Christian Eucharist or a steady and consistent prayer regiment. The link back is preserved, not with bread and wine, but He-Man ads and Jem movies.”
2. “How Brando Broke the Movies.” He reinvented acting, and Hollywood hasn’t recovered.
“Brando’s career, too, spooled out between those two poles—an early burst of brilliance playing a series of majestically insolent rebels for Kazan, followed by a shadow-draped comeback for Coppola, as Corleone, the most famous patriarch in the history of movies. There is a great irony here, one that goes to the very heart of Brando and the secrets of screen performance. What happened in between—and after—those high points? Some critics have sensed an abyss of self-loathing, into which Brando fell, a figure of Wellesian tragicomedy fattened on burgers and fucking and unending disenchantment with the ’lies’ of the movie business. Not so fast, says Mizruchi. ’The idea that Brando retreated immediately to Tahiti [after shooting The Godfather], where he drowned in the past and ate gluttonously, is unsupported by the facts,’ she insists, with rather too much, perhaps, riding on that immediately. This is Brando viewed through an overly forgiving squint. Disdaining what she sees as previous critics’ ’excessive emphasis on his romantic affairs,’ Mizruchi relegates Brando’s experiments in free-form paternity to a series of parentheses and footnotes. Instead she gives us Brando with his nose buried in Camus and Baldwin—Brando the intellectual, thinker, and bibliophile whose book collection ’outstripped those of most academics’; a ’visionary’ whose multicultural perspectives heralded our own.”
3. “North Korea threatens war on US over Kim Jong-un movie.” North Korea has promised “merciless” retaliation if a forthcoming Hollywood movie about killing Kim Jong-un is released, say agencies.
“A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in state media that the movie’s release would be an ’act of war’. He did not mention the title, but a Hollywood movie called The Interview with a similar plot is due in October. Hollywood actors James Franco and Seth Rogen star in the action-comedy film. Rogen, who is also one of the directors of The Interview, has since responded on Twitter saying: ’People don’t usually wanna kill me for one of my movies until after they’ve paid 12 bucks for it.’ Franco and Rogen play a talkshow host and his producer who are invited to interview Kim Jong-un, and are subsequently recruited by the US Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) to assassinate the leader. The film’s teaser trailer, posted on Youtube, shows a lookalike actor playing Kim Jong-un, as well as fight scenes involving what appear to be North Korean tanks and helicopters, and a nuclear missile launch.”
4. “Dennis Hopper: The Missing Years.” If there’s proof that there is a silver lining to every cloud, it may be in an exhibition of Dennis Hopper’s work as a photographer during the 1960s.
“Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album, opening Thursday at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, showcases 400 vintage photographs that the Easy Rider director took during what might be considered his lost years. From 1960 to 1967, Hopper disappeared from Hollywood, and this trove of images helps document how he spent his time. They also kept him alive. ’I never made a cent from these photographs. They cost me money but they kept me alive…They were the only creative outlet I had for these years until I made Easy Rider. I never carried a camera again,’ reads a Hopper quote typed out on the wall.”
5. “Court Rejects Zone to Buffer Abortion Clinic.” A Massachusetts abortion clinic’s buffer zones are ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests, counseling and other speech near abortion clinics. ’A painted line on the sidewalk is easy to enforce, but the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency,’ Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in a majority opinion that was joined by the court’s four-member liberal wing. The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994. The Massachusetts law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion who said they sought to have quiet conversations with women entering clinics to tell them about alternatives. ’Petitioners are not protesters,’ Chief Justice Roberts wrote.”
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