1. ”The Imitation Game wins Toronto top prize.” The Alan Turing biopic has won the People’s Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival.
“Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the drama about the British code breaker who helped decrypt the Enigma machine during World War Two. In a message, director Morten Tyldum said it was ’an amazing honour’ to win the prize. ’For film fans to support The Imitation Game means so much to me, the entire cast and film-making team,’ he said. Turing was credited with bringing about the end of the war and saving hundreds of thousands of lives after decoding German Naval messages. He is also considered to be the founding father of the modern-day computer. However his later life was overshadowed after a conviction in 1952 for gross indecency when homosexuality was illegal in Britain. He was chemically castrated and committed suicide in 1954. Earlier this week Tyldum described the film as ’a tribute to being different’.”
2. “He Said, She Said.” David Fincher’s Gone Girl puts a dynamic new spin on a venerable genre—the relationship film.
“I can’t wait to see what will go on between couples at dinner after they see the movie. There are so many interesting tectonic shifts. When the people I’ve shown the movie come out of it, they are either Team Amy or Team Nick. Team Amy doesn’t have a single quibble about her behavior, and Team Nick doesn’t have any problems with his. Then there are people who primarily measure it against the book and how they felt about the characters in the book. And the narrative of the movie is vastly denuded from the way it’s allowed to grow and bloom in the novel. It wasn’t a defoliation as much as a deforestation. Once you got it back to the branches and the trunk, it was pretty easy to see that this movie was going to be about who we are and who we present to those we are endeavoring to seduce. And the absurdity of that difference needed to be part of the two-and-a-half-hour fabric in a much bigger way than in the novel. For me, the 30 percent of the novel that’s about who we present—our narcissistic façades—becomes the entire foundation of the movie.”
3. “The ’death of adulthood’ is really just capitalism at work.” Here’s what A.O. Scott’s lamentation about adulthood in pop culture misses: our economic transformation.
“This fundamental confusion and ambivalence reflects a deep-seated blind spot, I would argue, one that’s endemic to the culture-vulture trade. Scott carefully anatomizes the trees but misses the forest, or to speak more precisely ignores the condition of the soil. There really is something beneath his ’death of adulthood’ premise, whether or not you like the prejudicial phrase. But to coin a phrase: It’s the economy, stupid. Scott’s essay appears to treat ’culture’ as a sealed and self-referential system, one that shapes and reflects human consciousness but has only an incidental relationship with economic, political and social factors that lie outside its purview. We have moved so far from the old Marxist view of culture as an ideological ’superstructure’ erected upon the economic base of society that we now pretend it’s an entirely autonomous force, or a mystical-cum-psychological shadow play that gives ’human shape to our collective anxieties and aspirations,’ in Scott’s phrase. There are clues in his article suggesting that he doesn’t entirely buy that, and we need to remember that he works at the Times, where critics are not encouraged to venture into contentious ideological terrain or to suggest that they may have political opinions.”
4. “The Death of Adulthood and the Rise of Pleasure, or Why Seth Rogen Is More Serious Than Woody Allen.” Vulture’s Adam Sternbergh also chimes in.
“Cultural essays about the death of adulthood are often Trojan horses for a different complaint: the death of seriousness. These essays read as modern analogues to the mid-20th-century jeremiads about middlebrow, which were, similarly, taking people to task for not being sophisticated (i.e., adult) enough in their cultural tastes. In this light, Scott’s essay makes an interesting companion piece to the recent review by New Yorker critic James Wood of David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks. Wood starts by blithely gesturing to the dimming of ’the novel’s cultural centrality’—as though this is an accepted fact, like global warming, and you, dear reader, are the one driving around in a carbon-spewing Hummer made up entirely of copies of Divergent.”
5. “Lena Dunham Is Not Done Confessing.” Meghan Daum’s profile on the multihyphenate for the New York Times.
“Since Tiny Furniture, which was shot for $25,000, set her career in motion and helped her score her deal for Girls, Dunham has functioned as a proxy for the collective aspirations and insecurities of her generation, or at least a certain educated, mostly white, mostly urban-dwelling microdemographic therein. She is perhaps to the millennials what J. D. Salinger was to the post-World War II generation and Woody Allen was to the baby boomers: a singular voice who spoke as an outsider and, in so doing, became the ultimate insider.”
Video of the Day: The official trailer for Serena:
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.