1. “Tony Awards 2014 Winners: The Complete List.” Neil Patrick Harris, Bryan Cranston and Audra McDonald were among the night’s big winners.
“The 68th annual Tony Awards were handed out Sunday night at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder was named best musical, while Hedwig and the Angry Inch took home the award for best revival of a musical. All the Way was named best play, while A Raisin in the Sun won best revival of a play. The awards ceremony, hosted by Hugh Jackman for the fourth time, aired live on CBS.”
2. “Derek Jarman: The World Is All.” Aaron Cutler on how spells are cast and love is spun throughout Jarman’s films.
“The films move rapidly and lift viewers with unexpected cuts or musical cues whenever their tones risk growing sad. Their energy befits a creator who was racing to beat Time’s clock. Jarman spent at least his last eight years living with AIDS, a diagnosis that he publicly claimed to have received in December of 1986 and which friends have said that he revealed to them earlier. He expressed what he had not as a condition to be pitied, though, but rather as a challenge to be greeted. His frequent actress Tilda Swinton (whose film debut came as a model and lover to the titular painter in Jarman’s Caravaggio) says in The Gospel According to St. Derek that, ’I think we got about four films made off of the back of being Derek’s last film.’ In each case, he treated his illness like an obstacle that, as with any logistical hurdle on a film shoot, could be worked around.”
3. “Bombast: The Punishment Continues.” Nick Pinkerton, again, on The Immigrant, VOD, Internet trashmongers, and random broadsides.
“Filmmakers are less than ever given the luxury of finding their sea legs today, and this make-or-break environment forces critics to speak in an affected language of extremes, a problem in its own right. Though I’m obviously a homer for Gray, ideally critics—let’s distinguish them from reviewers—should be something other than fans, shouldn’t let partisanship hold themselves back from saying bad things about works that they respond to, or from saying good things about works that they don’t. Maybe critics charging themselves with advocacy, as opposed to engaging with the work at hand, are part of the problem? Or maybe the entire class should just be dissolved? Ken Loach recently suggested in a video interview with The Guardian—a newspaper which caters to upper-middle-class Islingtonians—that the culture as a whole would be improved were we to ’[s]ack the critics and get ordinary punters in.’ This is a larf for a few reasons: first, that Loach seems to presuppose he has an especial rapport with ’ordinary punters,’ as though they were his own inscribed audience. (’Oi mate, why not pop round my place and we’ll t’row on Kes, right?’) Second, that a supposedly class-struggle-conscious figure like Loach, who imagines that he has some purchase on ’political struggle in the real world,’ doesn’t know that the critics have, for the most part, already been sacked.”
4. “A Silent British Cinema Primer.” This list of essential British silent films is, above all, a testament to the power that “home video” has had to rewrite movie history.
“A couple of early Hitchcocks notwithstanding, the silent British cinema has never figured prominently into any official versions of the story of early motion-picture development. Fortunately, the efforts of numerous film institutions and preservation foundations have in more recent years seen to the restoration and re-release of many important silent British movies. (the story broke only a couple of months ago that an important British silent, George Pearson’s Love, Life and Laughter, was discovered in Amsterdam—proving yet again how notions of film history evolve with the vicissitudes of fate.) Below are nine eye-opening personal silent British favorites that I consider well worth any movie buff’s time.”
5. “Three Masters: Spielberg, Anderson, Haneke, and Their Audience.” Is the filmmaker tyrant, aesthete, ringmaster, or hermit?
“Among significant filmmakers, there can be few for whom locating the value of the work in its effect on the viewer can have been greater than for Steven Spielberg. Most emblematically in the Indiana Jones films, re-creative of 1940s short adventure serials with their episodic cliffhangers and no form of serious artistic purpose, the viewer’s reception is paramount. The throbbing notes of the Jaws shark motif was earlier offered to satisfy no inner muse. Jaws, too, is credited as a historical turning point in American film, the genesis of the current serial blockbuster, youth-oriented Hollywood that had always been, on a lesser but more varied and creative scale, very much an entertainment business anyway. Spielberg, a practical (compared to Scorsese’s more scholarly) student of the Golden Age, became the directorial entertainment kingpin of the new Hollywood he helped create. Then, beginning with the 1985 The Color Purple and most assertively with 1993′s Schindler’s List, Spielberg reached for artistic seriousness.”
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