1. “High court ruling may lead to gay marriage in 30 states.” The Supreme Court refused to get involved in the national debate over same-sex marriage Monday, leaving intact lower court rulings that will legalize the practice in 11 additional states.
“The unexpected decision by the justices, announced without further explanation, immediately affects five states in which federal appeals courts had struck down bans against gay marriage: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah. It also will bring along six other states located in the judicial circuits overseen by those appellate courts: North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming. Lower court judges in those states must abide by their appeals court rulings. The action eventually will bring to 30 the number of states where gays and lesbians can marry. Appeals courts in Cincinnati and San Francisco are considering cases that could expand that number further, presuming the Supreme Court remains outside the legal fray.”
2. “Interview: Abel Ferrara.” For Film Comment, Nick Pinkerton chats with the filmmaker about Pasolini.
“Yeah, y’know, when you see something at that age, you’re so impressionable, and being Italian, Catholic, and watching that, seeing the players, how he shot it, everything about it. I saw the film again not long ago, I hadn’t seen it in probably 40 years. And it had the same heavy impact, only this time I could understand a little better why. The idea of the director as liberated artist: working, not having a crew and a cast and a budget, and all this on his back, like a cross. The guy is using his tools, pursuing a vision, and pursuing in search of a vision. He’s learning about the movie that you’re gonna see while he’s making it. He’s up there on a tightrope without a net, but he’s not worried. It’s a sense of freedom, and it’s a sense of passion. I saw it on a double bill with Peckinpah’s Wild Bunch, and both of these films really slammed home the idea of what it is to be an independent, having your vision and pursuing that vision, bringing the crew and the actors to it, and making everyone find the movie that the audience is gonna end up seeing, so the film is being made right before your eyes.”
3. “Specializing in Ordinary Ordeals.” A.O. Scott and how the Dardennes explore their theme in Two Days, One Night.
“Sandra’s experiences are a perfect illustration of this method. The viewer accompanies her as she knocks on doors and makes anxious phone calls in her effort to speak with every one of her colleagues. For her and for us, the repetitiveness of these encounters is grueling and uncomfortable, but it is also crucial to the film’s emotional power. Each meeting is unique, because each person Sandra talks to has particular responses and concerns. One man, in the midst of a pickup soccer game, bursts into tears. Another threatens Sandra with violence. Some have trouble meeting her eyes; others are forthright in their support or refusal. A few decline to commit one way or another. But as Jean-Pierre put it: ’Each one is as important as Sandra. There are no secondary roles.’”
4. “Ben Affleck: Bill Maher and Sam Harris ’gross’ and ’racist’ in views of Islam.” The actor has won praise on social media for accusing both men of religious stereotyping while discussing Islam with them on Maher’s HBO talk show.
“Ben Affleck has won praise for accusing TV host Bill Maher and author Sam Harris for what he called ’gross’ and ’racist’ depictions of Islam during a televised debate. Appearing on HBO talk show Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday night, Affleck reacted furiously to claims by Maher that Islam manifested as ’the only religion that acts like the mafia’ and which would ’fucking kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture or write the wrong book’. Author and philosopher Sam Harris also attracted the Argo director’s ire after suggesting: ’We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where criticism of the religion gets conflated with bigotry towards Muslims as people. It’s intellectually ridiculous.’”
5. “Xavier Dolan hates the Beatles but loves attention.” Nor does the bad-boy of Quebec cinema, earning raves for his new film Mommy, enjoy sharing the spotlight with legendary auteur Jean-Luc Godard.
“Dolan also didn’t disguise his lack of enthusiasm for being involuntarily yoked to Godard, even if the two also share a penchant for frank discourse and for shaking up the status quo. Months after the fact, Dolan can still get fired up about it. ’He’s not one of my heroes. He doesn’t touch me or inspire me. There are so many people who inspire me, so many people who touch my heart. It doesn’t matter if he’s not a hero of mine. It doesn’t matter if I don’t tell the whole world how honoured I am to share a prize with a man who made somebody play with words over the years. He’s a hero in cinema historically, but he’s not a personal hero of mine.’ Dolan’s antipathy towards Godard isn’t completely unprovoked. Godard did some mixing up on his own.”
Video of the Day: The Inherent Vice press conference following the film’s screenings for press at the New York Film Festival:
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.