1. “Would You Feel Differently About Snowden, Greenwald, and Assange If You Knew What They Really Thought?” Sean Wilentz takes aim at Snowden, Greenwald, Assange, and their supporters.
“So far, the adulatory treatment the leakers have received closely mirrors their own self-presentation. But important caches of evidence have gone largely unexamined by the media. Documents are, of course, the leakers’ stock-in-trade—and they have produced quite a few documents of their own. The Internet houses a variety of their writings for message boards, blogs, and magazines. Much of this writing was produced before the leakers entertained the possibility of a global audience. They are documents in which one can glimpse their deepest beliefs and true motives. What they reveal is at odds with the flattering coverage the leakers have received, and goes beyond personal eccentricities or dubious activities in the service of noble goals. They reveal an agenda that even the leakers’ most dedicated admirers should question.”
2. “Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Narciso Contreras sacked for altering Syria picture.” The Associated Press say they have cut ties with Mr Contreras after he altered an image to remove a video camera from it.
“Mr. Contreras said on Wednesday he removed the video camera from the frame because he thought it might distract viewers. In the image of a fighter ducking for cover, his fellow journalist’s video camera was initially visible on the ground at one corner of the frame. He said he ’cloned’ other pieces in the background and pasted them over the camera to obscure it from view, before filing the image with AP. ’I took the wrong decision when I removed the camera…I feel ashamed about that,’ he said. ’You can go through my archives and you can find that this is a single case that happened probably at one very stressed moment, at one very difficult situation, but yeah, it happened to me, so I have to assume the consequences.’”
3. “Family of South Carolina Boy Put to Death Seeks Exoneration 70 Years Later.” New evidence could clear 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr., executed by South Carolina in 1944.
“With another trial a prospect, if only a distant one, Judge Mullen heard legal arguments that touched on issues like judicial standing, and aggressive inquiries about the limits of memory, an especially important issue because many of the records in the case were destroyed. Witnesses evaluated photographs and a large map, one that was disputed for its accuracy. Lawyers asked pointed questions during cross-examinations. A pathologist voiced concerns about the autopsies of the two victims, and a psychiatrist cast doubt on the validity of a confession Mr. Stinney gave investigators.”
4. “A group-home veteran looks at Short Term 12.” Nathan Rabin recalls living in a group home and what Short Term 12 reminds him of.
“Brie Larson plays Grace, a group-home employee whose steely exterior and outer toughness just barely mask her deep inner hurt. Like the kids she mentors—and with whom she identifies more than they know—she can’t expose her vulnerability even to herself for fear of becoming a target. She’s so sensitive that revealing her feelings, even to a boyfriend who clearly worships her, would entail opening herself up to the kind of pain that has scarred her deeply. I knew that feeling well. At Campbell House, we all became hardened, more jaded, less compassionate versions of ourselves. Watching Short Term 12 made me realize that I began the process of forgetting well before I left the group home: Living there meant blocking out a lot of pain and anger, lest they become overwhelming.”
5. “Review: Stranger by the Lake.” Michael Koresky on the Alain Guiraudie film.
“Sex often arrives with an agenda in narrative cinema. Though speaking to a human need as basic as food and water, the ins and outs of physical desire come so burdened with questions of representation that the image of sex itself has been almost completely politically co-opted. Queer sex especially carries an imperative, as we’ve been conditioned to expect images of positivity in our gay cinema: pride above all. Viewers have come to be understandably wary of any movie that depicts gay sex as tortured or dangerous, fearful that it may intimate homosexuality itself is a dark desire or an aberration. The political weight of representation inevitably bears down on the viewer of Alain Guiraudie’s Stranger by the Lake, an explicit film about amorphous desire that unapologetically combines menace and eroticism, and daringly—and most alienatingly for those who want to be told what to think at the movies—it has no agenda at all. This thoroughly intoxicating experience manages to exploit sex without cheapening it, interrogate without demonizing it. If for Antonioni Eros was sick, for Guiraudie he’s alive and well, though he’s holding hands with Thanatos.”
Video of the Day: If Philip Seymour Hoffman was the voice of Her’s Samantha:
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