1. “The Campaign to ’Cancel’ Colbert.” Jay Caspain Kang on Suey Park’s #CancelColbert extortion.
“Every debate on Twitter gets put through the platform’s peculiar distortion effect. The form’s inherent limitations—the 140 character limit and a fleeting shelf-life—reward volume, frequency, and fervor rather than nuance, complexity, and persuasion. This might feel unseemly to those who value a more refined conversation, but there is no denying the viral power of hashtag activists who capitalize on the speed at which a single tweet can multiply into something that resembles a protest rally. A new Twitter outrage seems to detonate every week, and, in many cases, the voices raised in these social media movements belong to groups that do not have equal representation within the mainstream media. But they should not therefore be immune to questions or criticism: If an activist hashtag becomes a trend, has a broad, important conversation taken place? It is no simple thing to determine whether Twitter outrage can itself expand the terms of discourse and challenge the status quo.”
2. “Orson Welles’ camera and Citizen Kane scripts to be auctioned.” Great director’s daughter puts more than 70 items on sale; two scripts for The Magnificent Ambersons will be sold.
“The youngest daughter of the director and writer Orson Welles is giving film buffs a chance to buy some of his personal possessions, including a camera, scripts and photos from the set of Citizen Kane. Beatrice Welles discovered the relics last year in boxes and trunks and decided to put them up for auction. She said her father would have preferred making the memorabilia available to film buffs and fans, as opposed to sending them to a museum. ’It’s about the last thing he would’ve wanted. He just did not believe in schooling, he did not believe in academic things,’ Welles said in a telephone interview from her Arizona home. ’And museums kind of have that connotation and I thought, “No, this is not right for him.”’ In all, she is handing more than 70 items over to Heritage Auctions, which will stage the sale on 26 April.”
3. “Playing John Wayne.” Peter Bogdanovich on Scott Eyman’s John Wayne: The Life and Legend.
“The portrait Eyman paints very much resembles the Wayne I knew for nearly 15 years: extremely likable, guileless, exuberant, even strangely innocent. Hawks, who cast him in ’Red River’ (1948), the major role for the second half of Duke’s career, once said to me that he felt everything that had happened to Wayne had gone a little ’over his head.’ Indeed, part of the charm of the man who was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907, was his lack of pretension or self-importance. Among the most interesting things I learned from this book are how well Wayne expressed himself in prose, how cogently he formulated his thoughts and what a good student he was. He had wanted, at one point, to be a lawyer, and the few writings Eyman quotes are quite impressive, especially because Ford liked to give the idea that his main star (whom he picked on mercilessly during shoots) was somewhat of an unlettered boob. One time, when I told Ford I was going to give Duke a book for a birthday present, Ford growled, ’He’s got a book!’”
4. “Looking for Something Real.” Michael Koresky on Mad Men (episode “Babylon”) and Inside Llewyn Davis.
“Rachel might be talking about Mad Men’s 1960s as well. The Coen brothers’ New York, on the other hand, is more of a place than an idea. This is a radical shift for filmmakers who have always erred on the side of high concept, and who have often seemed to poke at rather than nestle all the way into whatever region of the United States they’ve trained their camera on. Llewyn Davis’s hapless odyssey through a weathered, unforgiving Manhattan is richly drawn; the environment feels wholly lived-in, authentic as a place and as a visualization of a headspace—a remarkable filmmaking feat. The shoestring downtown through which Don Draper slums, on the other hand, is ersatz, but it’s affectingly so. Partly because of budgetary restrictions, Mad Men can only represent sixties New York by way of interiors, but this makes for moving psychological portraiture. The trademark image for Llewyn Davis is of him outside, his light coat barely protecting him from the winter chill. Don, eternally suavely dressed, is ensconced in catalog-ready interiors, whether at home or in his office. The world bears down on Llewyn; it closes in on Don.”
5. “Futures & Pasts: Wild Things.” Nick Pinkerton is turned on by the erotic thriller.
“In the erotic thriller, very often sexual capital and social aspiration were as complexly entwined as those well-toned bodies on the video box art, enjoying simultaneous arched-back orgasms on artfully rumpled satin sheets. Wild Things lays out its scenario in affluent Blue Bay, Florida—actually the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove standing in. Its principal characters are representative of the city’s have-nots and haves. The players’ actual motives, as well as the network of secret treaties that bind them together, will come into view only gradually, like the antediluvian visage of the alligator that emerges from the water of the Everglades with the opening title.”
Video of the Day: British crooner Sam Smith dazzles in SNL debut:
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