1. “A Way Forward for Ukraine.” The New York Times proposes decentralizing the way power is distributed in the troubled country.
“However the current crisis over Crimea finally ends, Ukraine will still be left with a crisis of its own politics — a crisis that Russia seized as a pretext to annex Crimea, and that would invite further intervention in Ukraine unless it is immediately addressed. The origins of the current emergency, in fact, lie in a failure of Ukraine’s political institutions to accomplish two fundamental tasks: produce leaders with a reputation for honesty and competence, and ensure that public policy is responsive to all segments of the public.”
2. “Sofia Coppola to Direct Little Mermaid for Universal.” Joe Wright had been attached to helm the live-action project that is being produced by Working Title.
“Such self-aware aestheticism is the manna on which Anderson’s admirers feed, but in The Grand Budapest Hotel, it has a specific, decidedly un-frivolous purpose. M. Gustave isn’t simply a prissy nostalgist, a Belle Epoque throwback pining for a world that ’had vanished long before he ever entered it.’ His insistence on elemental decency, his mantra that anger is merely the expression of needs unmet, is a subtle form of resistance—tinged, it must be said, with a hint of willful denial. At times, his insistence on maintaining decorum in the face of chaos evokes history’s whipping boy Neville Chamberlain.”
3. “Malaysia Turns to F.B.I. for Help in Plane Inquiry.” Malaysian authorities ask the U.S. for help recovering data deleted from pilot’s flight simulator.
“Investigators have said the plane’s extraordinary diversion from its intended course, from northeastward across the Gulf of Thailand to westward across the Malaysian peninusla, was probably carried out by someone on the plane who had aviation experience. Attention has focused on the two pilots — Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and his junior officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27. The Malaysian police, who found that Mr. Zaharie had a flight simulator in his home, said on Wednesday that some data was erased from the simulator on Feb. 3, more than a month before the ill-fated flight.”
4. “George R. R. Martin Has a Detailed Plan for Keeping the Game of Thrones TV Show from Catching Up to Him.” The author on HBO’s juggernaut and more.
“I think the look of the show is great. There was a bit of an adjustment for me. I had been living with these characters and this world since 1991, so I had close to twenty years of pictures in my head of what these characters looked like, and the banners and the castles, and of course it doesn’t look like that. But that’s fine. It does take a bit of adjustment on the writer’s part but I’m not one of these writers who go crazy and says, ’I described six buttons on the jacket and you put eight buttons on the jacket, you Hollywood idiots!’ I’ve seen too many writers like that when I was on the other side, in Hollywood. When you work in television or film, it is a collaborative medium, and you have to allow the other collaborators to bring their own creative impulse to it, too.”
5. “BBFC changes: A major threat to indie DVD labels?” The glory days of the British DVD and Blu-ray industry are under threat thanks to upcoming BBFC legislation that could see independent distributors close, writes James Oliver.
“These are good times for British film fans. The UK is lucky to have some of the best DVD labels in the world (Arrow, the BFI, Masters of Cinema, Odeon, Second Run, Second Sight, Nucleus…) producing essential releases of that cater for every taste. But this golden age could be coming to an end, courtesy of some well-meaning government legislation. From May, the way home video material is classified is changing: material that is currently exempt from classification will have to be inspected by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). It’s all the fault of the likes of Rhianna and Lady Gaga; their saucy antics on prime time shows like The X Factor caused something of an outcry and gave focus to the government’s (previously rather nebulous) campaign against ’the sexualisation of childhood’.”
Video of the Day: Neneh Cherry teams up with Robyn for “Out of the Black,” from Cherry’s Blank Project:
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.