1. “The unfixable enigma of Twin Peaks.” For The Dissolve, Keith Phipps sifts through the deleted scenes on Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery.
“Presented more or less in chronological order, the first batch fleshes out Desmond and Stanley’s excursion to Deer Meadow, making it look like an even nastier place than before, thanks to a marathon fight scene between Desmond and a local sheriff (Gary Bullock). These give way to scenes at F.B.I. headquarters in which Cooper converses flirtatiously with his secretary, Diane. We neither see nor hear the recipient of all those tapes he recorded investigating Laura’s death, leaving open the possibility that she may not exist at all—though this presumably closes off the possibility that ’Diane’ was just the name of his tape recorder. There’s also a long scene in which Bowie’s Agent Jeffries teleports from Buenos Aires, with an extended stop in a location dubbed ’above the convenience store,’ a gathering place for all the mythological characters, including Das Boot’s Jurgen Prochnow in a big fake beard, playing a character dubbed ’The Woodsman.’ It makes little sense, but it at least makes a little more sense than the Jeffries sequence in the film. It’s also a must-see for those with a taste for Lynch at his most unhinged.
2. “The Court of Popular Discourse: The Authorship of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.” Myles McNutt of Cultural Learnings on just how much each credited screenwriter had a hand in actually writing the blockbuster.
“James Gunn became the writer-director in question, and thus began the careful negotiation of authorship. Perlman hasn’t been erased from material around the film, and she was both invited to the set and attended the film’s gala premiere, so it’s not as though there is intense conflict or bad feelings about the experience. And the fact that Marvel is letting her talk about her experience so openly speaks volumes, given they could have probably signed her into nondisclosure agreements if they had felt they needed to. I could be cynical for a moment and note that Marvel is likely allowing this because of the positive press it’s brought over a Marvel Studios film finally having a female writer, making it probable they would have worked harder to marginalize her contributions had she not been given a co-writing credit in WGA arbitration (thus giving them a ’lemons into lemonade’ option of a progressive gender story), but she is nonetheless being allowed to articulate her authorship in popular discourse around the film. That’s important.”
3. “This Means War.” For Artforum, Nick Pinkerton on MoMA’s “The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy” series.
“As that ’love battle’ betrayed its true gristly toll—countless fingers, toes, arms, legs, ears, noses, eyes, genitals, guts, and lives—the art of moving pictures was entering its bumptious adolescence. British, French, and German troops had dug into the muck that would constitute the Western Front by February of 1915, when still non-interventionist Americans were going over the top in D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, the film that defined screen treatment of the battlefield for a generation in its reenactments of the Civil War. (With the Siege of Sebastopol, prequels to the present conflict.) Griffith’s Hearts of the World (1919) and Cecil B. DeMille’s The Little American (1917) are among the earliest screen treatments of Europe’s self-immolation in the massive mobilization of prints that constitutes the Museum of Modern Art’s five-week series ’The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy,’ a feat worthy of Gen. Pershing. The program traces representation of the war from Griffith and DeMille—for all the innovation of their technique, still indebted to sentimental Victorian dramaturgy—to twenty-first century offerings like Joyeaux Noel (2005) and War Horse (2011) of which, come to think of it, the same might be said.”
4. “German-Turkish director Fatih Akın threatened by ultranationalists.” An interview with the filmmaker of The Cut has sparked open threats from Turkish nationalists.
“An ultranationalist Turkish group has threatened famous director Fatih Akın for his upcoming movie The Cut, which explores controversial themes regarding the Armenian issue. magazine named Ötüken, the publication of the Turkish Turanist Association, has released an online statement, saying it would not allow the movie to be released in Turkey after it discovered that the German-Turkish director conducted an interview with the Armenian weekly Agos. ’We openly threaten Agos Newspaper, Armenian fascists and so-called intellectuals,’ the message read. ’That movie will not be released in a single movie theater in Turkey. We are following the developments with our white caps and Azerbaijani flags.’ The white cap is a clear reference to the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was killed in broad daylight in Istanbul on Jan. 19, 2007, as the hit-man, Ogün Samast, was wearing a white cap when he murdered the editor-in-chief of Agos.”
5. “The Cost of Quality: Studio Ghibli Takes an Indefinite Break.” Grantland’s Emily Yoshida on the famed studio’s financial moment of crisis.
“Whether that ’short rest’ ends up being a year or 20, Suzuki’s announcement speaks more to the harsh realities of the market than anything else. (Also: Can you imagine any situation in which Marvel Studios, which is basically the cultural equivalent here, would give such a downbeat quote to the press?) The two films the studio has released since Miyazaki’s retirement—Isao Takahata’s The Tale of Princess Kaguya and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie Was There—were seen as commercial failures. Even Miyazaki’s final film, The Wind Rises, has reportedly failed to make back its budget, despite earning to date $135 million at the Japanese box office, huge numbers for that market. (This is somewhat murky, as Wikipedia lists The Wind Rises’ budget as $30 million.) Miyazaki’s films all reliably dominate the Japanese box office—four of the top 10 grossing films of all time there are his—and his stepping down is a huge blow to Ghibli’s revenue generation. It’s crazy that it’s possible to be the best at what you do and reliably financially successful and still not be sustainable. Unless Ghibli is secretly paying for lavish Fijian getaways for all its employees, it’s sad to know the studio’s overhead is so prohibitive.”
Video of the Day: Conan got his Orange Is the New Black on last night:
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