1. “Ruby Dee R.I.P.” A ringing voice for civial rights, onstage and off, Dee dies at 91.
“Ruby Dee, one of the most enduring actresses of theater and film, whose public profile and activist passions made her, along with her husband, Ossie Davis, a leading advocate for civil rights both in show business and in the wider world, died on Wednesday at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 91. A diminutive beauty with a sense of persistent social distress and a restless, probing intelligence, Ms. Dee began her performing career in the 1940s, and it continued well into the 21st century. She was always a critical favorite, though not often cast as a leading lady. Her most successful central role was Off Broadway, in the 1970 Athol Fugard drama, ’Boesman and Lena,’ about a pair of nomadic mixed-race South Africans, for which she received overwhelming praise. Clive Barnes wrote in The New York Times, ’Ruby Dee as Lena is giving one of the finest performances I have ever seen.’”
2. “Amazon pulls Warner Bros movies from sales as trade dispute expands.” Already in fracas with publisher Hachette, retailer pulls pre-orders such as The Lego Movie to pressure the studio over pricing.
“First they came for Harry Potter’s author, and now they have come for your Lego. Amazon has expanded its trade dispute with publisher Hachette by adding Warner Bros to the list of companies it is pressuring for a better deal. The online retailer has pulled pre-orders for forthcoming Warner Home Video features, including international blockbuster The Lego Movie, 300: Rise of an Empire, Winter’s Tale and Transcendence. The move comes as Amazon continues to delay shipments and refuse pre-orders for some titles from Hachette, publisher of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, and home to David Baldacci, Stephen Colbert, David Foster Wallace and others. The retailer is also in another standoff in Germany with the Bonnier Media Group.”
3. “The Man Who Was Immune to AIDS.” But not what came after.
“It was true: Steve was one of a surpassingly small number of people on Earth whose bodies essentially ignored HIV. And he was one of an even smaller subset who had occasion to find out. Back in the early 1980s, at a time when thousands of gay men, including dozens Steve knew and loved, began dying, he kept on living. Surely he’d been multiply exposed, and yet as he waited a year, and then many, to join those he’d lost, he came to realize that his body would not give him the chance. Frantic to find out why, he went from doctor to doctor, all but begging someone to study him; when eventually someone did, a great discovery was made. Not only had he inherited a genetic mutation that spared him, but that knowledge would lead to the development of a drug that even now helps sustain the lives of people not as lucky as he. ’He realized that he could provide a piece of the jigsaw,’ one researcher said, ’and he was right.’”
4. “Queer Pagan Punk.” Calum Marsh on Derek Jarman’s hostile cinema.
“Their lives, in fact, mirrored one another’s in a number of significant ways. Like Godard, Jarman enjoyed a career as a journalist and critic before graduating to filmmaking; also like Godard, he had a reputation as something of a polemicist before ever stepping foot behind a camera. Both were erudite and fiercely intellectual. Both leaned radically left, often to the point of alienating their colleagues and peers. Both actively participated in political causes—the French student protests of May ’68 for Godard, the AIDS movement for Jarman—whose ideological ramifications are still felt today. And suffice it to say that both made films whose provocations incited about as much controversy as acclaim.”
5. “Alex Ross Perry on Impolex.” The filmmaker ruminates on the making of his debut film.
“Chad [Hartigan] and I realized that we were put into enviable positions at relatively young ages with our somewhat under-screened films. We had enough momentum to keep going but had neither wisdom nor caution. Being youthful and naive is valuable if you have only one goal in mind and haven’t yet grown into being smart enough to have a logic center that points out how foolish your endeavors are. Premiering Impolex at CineVegas provided me with the perfect cocktail of excitement and ambition necessary to make another film, The Color Wheel, just one year later. During the production and post-production of that film it finally hit me: this is likely a huge mistake. Going double or nothing is crazy, and I am likely to be left with nothing.”
Video of the Day: The official teaser for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman:
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