1. “Steven Spielberg’s speech to Holocaust survivors in Krakow.” The Schindler’s List director addressed dozens of Auschwitz survivors on eve of 70th anniversary of camp’s liberation.
“It means preserving places like Auschwitz so people can always see for themselves how hateful ideologies can become tangible acts of murder. It means sharing and sustaining the testimonies of witnesses so that they can endure for teachers and students around the world their testimonies give to each survivor everlasting life and give to all of us everlasting value. Which brings us to where we are now, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and despite the obstacles we face today I feel reassured by our shared efforts to combat hatred. And my hope for tomorrow’s commemoration is that the survivors with us and those survivors from all round the world feel confident that we are renewing their call to remember, that we will not only make known their own identities but in the process help form a meaningful collective conscience for generations to come.”
2. “Sundance Diary, Days 1-4: Exploitation Blues.” From Sundance, Wesley Morris on Dope, The End of the Tour, Tangerine, and more.
“This is a matter of race. I thought about this while watching The End of the Tour, a gently made, scrupulously written adaptation of David Lipsky’s published transcripts of his conversations with the late novelist David Foster Wallace. Jesse Eisenberg plays Lipsky; Jason Segel plays Wallace. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen about the intense, fragile connection between writers. Lipksy goes to Wallace’s suburban Illinois house for a Rolling Stone profile and tags along on a couple of stops in Minneapolis on a book tour for Infinite Jest. The movie, which James Ponsoldt directed and Donald Margulies wrote, operates with care and humor and curiosity about human nature. Lipsky’s journalistic interest both flatters and appalls Wallace, whose pathological self-consciousness Segel makes beautiful and sad but mostly amusingly self-protective and legitimately probing. Segel rarely gets to give a character much layering. He and Eisenberg practically make a Napoleon together.”
3. “An Ongoing Autobiography of a Slightly Younger Self.” Laurie Winer interviews Lena Dunham.
“What I’ll say is that friendship, particularly female friendship, has always struck me as more romantic than romance, more familial than family, a complex world where we are reflected back to ourselves in broken/gilded/found-on-the-street mirrors. I love art that addresses the complexity of it—whether it’s the confused semi-platonic love between a probably gay man with a limp and a poker-faced prostitute in Of Human Bondage, or the passion Edna St. Vincent Millay expresses for her Vassar friends in her early poems, or the two girls wandering the New York streets on Broad City. As I approach 30 I am only just reaching a place of peace with the women in my life, where their decisions don’t fill me with pain, dread, something akin to jealousy. They are no longer my mirrors but instead some other piece of essential furniture, a source of support. “
4. “An Unblinking Look at Sexual Assaults on Campus.” The Hunting Ground, a film about rape culture at colleges.
“The Hunting Ground, set for release in theaters and broadcast on CNN, was billed by the Sundance Film Festival as a ’piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses.’ Judging by viewer reaction at the film’s premiere and the comments of two United States senators afterward, festival programmers might have undersold it. Though the subject has been explored in depth by some publications, the response testified to the power of film. At the premiere here on Friday, audience members repeatedly gasped as student after student spoke on camera about being sexually assaulted—and being subsequently ignored or run through endless hoops by college administrators concerned about keeping rape statistics low. ’The power on that status quo side, you’re going to see it in response to this film,’ said Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, at a related panel discussion on Saturday. She added, ’Believe me, there will be fallout.’”
5. “The Measure of a Man.” Reverse Shot’s Chris Wisniewski on American Sniper.
“Eastwood the icon has long stood at odds with Eastwood the filmmaker, who has demonstrated an unrelenting ambivalence toward male violence and its corrosive effect on the hero figure. Similarly, in American Sniper, Kyle the icon (Legend) stands at odds with Kyle the character, who struggles mightily to connect to the people he loves in socially acceptable ways. In one scene, Kyle visits his newborn daughter in the hospital nursery and erupts into physical rage when the nurses fail to tend to her cries. In another, he demonstrates visible discomfort when a soldier he saved on the battlefield accosts him and his son at an auto body shop. Near the end of the movie, Kyle almost kills the family dog, overreacting to its playful aggression at a cookout. These are the actions of a broken man—perhaps a failed man—and in tracing the origins of his masculine crisis to his military service and even back to his childhood, the movie disrupts easy cause-and-effect with greater nuance than it might superficially appear to bring to its subject.”
Video of the Day: Aleksei German’s Hard to Be a God gets a new trailer:
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