1. ”TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2014.” From Ukraine to Ferguson, Gaza to Liberia, TIME picks the most influential photos of 2014.
“There are more people than ever on Earth, but never have we been this connected with each other. Photography plays a large role, with the still image continuing to hold extraordinary power, bypassing borders and languages and cultures, to inform and educate us. Its success is its impact, altering our actions or thoughts merely because it exists. It’s our proof. And technology has kept pace. Each photograph selected for TIME’s Top 10 photos of 2014, unranked and carefully culled from thousands, takes us into a dramatic scene that provides an important visual record of history. As these images came through our news-gathering operation over the course of the year, they not only astounded us, but they also moved us.”
2. “Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On Boyhood, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange.” The Oscar-nominated actor sat down for coffee in Brooklyn to discuss his wild year with Boyhood, losing a good pal in Philip Seymour Hoffman, and making a living in Hollywood.
“So, Linklater just won Best Director by the New York Film Critics Circle. And that’s awesome. But the first time I ever went there was to introduce Rick when they gave him some dubious sidebar honor for Waking Life, and Altman won Best Director that year. For years, I’ve been championing Linklater as the ’Great American Filmmaker.’ People are always championing Wes Anderson or Alexander Payne as the heir apparent to Altman, but I’ve always said, ’Wait a minute… Linklater’s made 19 movies!’ So I remember when Altman won the prize, he went up and said some version of, ’Too little, too late.’ And what he went on to talk about is how much he wished the press would champion people they really believed in, as opposed to seeing themselves as police of the studios. You don’t need to go out there and put Batman on the cover of The New York Times. Warner Brothers will be fine. Put something on the cover you believe in! The press is so quick to take some independent film to task for being pretentious, while it’s so quick to laud some mediocre studio comedy as brilliant.”
3. “Keyframe’s Year in Video Essays.” Kevin B. Lee ponders, “What is the video essay capable of?”
“Another year, another forty-six new video essays. This is on par with our output from last year and the year before, upholding our status as one of the leading producers of online video essays on movies. But I am especially satisfied with the crop of videos this year, because they maintained a high level of consistency in quality while seeking new insights and diverse approaches to investigate the art and culture of cinema. We had video profiles of some of the most exciting makers of independent film; experimental remixes of cinematic classics; film festival reports from Shanghai to the Amazon; video-based arguments for who should win the Oscars; and a series of videos with Fandor CEO and longtime film producer Ted Hope that gave straight talk on the future of independent film. A complete, categorized list of all forty-six videos produced by Keyframe this year can be found below. But first, here are five that I feel did the most to demonstrate what the video essay is capable of doing. “
4. “On The New Republic.” TNR contributor David A. Bell on the magazine’s past, present, and future.
“Do magazines like The New Republic still have a place for themselves in American life? The circumstances of its implosion have suggested, almost irresistibly, that the economics of the digital age is now rendering them extinct. As just about every commentator has pointed out, new owner Chris Hughes, whose great luck in landing Mark Zuckerberg as a Harvard roommate translated into a $700 million Facebook fortune by age 27, was a creature of Silicon Valley. Accounts of what led up to December’s events have dwelt on the culture clash between the old-guard editors and Hughes’s handpicked ’chief executive,’ Guy Vidra, who promised to turn the TNR ’brand’ into a ’vertically integrated digital media company’ publishing ’snackable’ content. (He allegedly confessed that he could not keep his eyes open beyond the first 500 words of most TNR articles.) The internet, by this account, destroyed TNR the way it destroyed Newsweek and many other print publications.”
5. “Bill Cosby, Himself: Fame, Narcissism and Sexual Violence.” Max S. Gordon on the Bill Cosby scandal.
“And then there’s Cosby himself. He continues to leave us guessing, as he has written no extended statement and given no mea culpa interview with Oprah. He hasn’t called Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for a press conference. Whether it is his narcissism or complete bewilderment, he remains, except for a few cryptic statements here and there, almost mute. Usually when stars are in big trouble, from Michael Richards to Paula Dean, they issue a statement, they deny, they apologize, they defend; but they engage. Except for repeated denials from his lawyer, a recent admonition to black media, and a statement that he won’t respond to ’innuendo’, Cosby maintains his silence while continuing to make public appearances and to perform. And weeks ago, he came out on Twitter, thanking both Whoopi Goldberg and Jill Scott for defending him.”
Video of the Day: In this original video essay, Michael Koresky and Casey Moore investigate the longstanding tradition of bleak midwinters at the movies:
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.