1. “Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.” The South African comedian will take over for Stewart some time this year.
“Mr. Noah, who spoke by phone from Dubai, where he is on a leg of a comedy tour, said he had been given a great opportunity, as well as a significant challenge. ’You don’t believe it for the first few hours,’ Mr. Noah said of learning about his new job. ’You need a stiff drink, and then unfortunately you’re in a place where you can’t really get alcohol.’ The appointment of Mr. Noah, a newcomer to American television, promises to add youthful vitality and international perspective to The Daily Show. It puts a nonwhite performer at the head of this flagship Comedy Central franchise, and one who comes with Mr. Stewart’s endorsement. ’I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,’ Mr. Stewart said in a statement. ’He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.’ Mr. Stewart added that he ’may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!!’”
2. “Trapped in an Artistic Life.” Richard Brody on Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young.
“Like Frances Ha, a movie about despair that’s tinged with silver sparkle because it’s based on the real-life premise that things all come out well in the end, While We’re Young is the story of how Baumbach has been spared Josh’s fate. The shortest answer is: Baumbach doesn’t make documentaries but dramatic features, and fiction has been his redemption. The character of Breitbart and his work—which, in the film, is linked to the documentaries of Frederick Wiseman, the Maysles brothers, and D. A. Pennebaker—involves what Breitbart calls ’the truth of experience.’ It is based on the assumption that ’what we were filming was more interesting than we were.’ The young Jamie’s unspoken credo is ’whatever.’ His film, a documentary approach to a veteran of the war in Afghanistan that’s couched in a deceptively fictionalized context, is a natural, effortless, unquestioned hybrid, in which the filmmaker’s implication in the story of those he’s filming is both taken for granted and treated as malleable. In effect, Breitbart assumes that he’s out of the story; Jamie assumes that he’s in it.”
3. “When Orange Calls for Black.” Wesley Morris on the racial and sexual impotence of Get Hard.
“It all points toward an inauthentic but perversely warm half-step forward for so-called bromance, an advance that makes you wonder whether the movies will figure out, as the country as a whole currently is, how to be comfortable about homosexuality before achieving comfort with race. This movie opens the same week that HBO announced that it won’t renew Looking, its slow-burning romantic comedy about the lives of actual gay men. The ratings were poor. But when you’re seeing Ferrell and Hart feeling on each other and all but falling in love, the impending absence of that show—and its reality—stings. Get Hard knows how to screw around. But when it comes to anything more, it lacks the balls to fuck.”
4. ”Blade Runner’s Sean Young: ’If I were a man I’d have been treated better.’” The star famous for playing the femme fatale Rachael in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic has had many “troubled moments” since—including lawsuits, booze addiction and some unpleasant co-stars. So what is it like to be on the outside of Hollywood looking in?
“It’s strange, how the Blade Runner legend now leaves out both Young and her co-star Daryl Hannah, presenting it as the collective triumph of Ford, Rutger Hauer with his ’tears in rain’ speech, and Ridley Scott orchestrating it all. Then again, that kind of thing often blights actors. Like a lot of what befell Young, it could only have happened to a woman. The past is unknowable. But the idea that a young female actor new to Hollywood would be directed to the casting couch is hardly outlandish, or that the same actor would face the same demands even as a star. On-set, male actors can scream abuse at underlings and have it passed off as being ’driven’; making Wall Street, an unwitting Young had a sign reading ’cunt’ stuck to her back by Sheen. And when the media reported her trials, they did so with the particular pursed delight that greets a woman’s fall from grace.”
5. “Interview: Larry Clark (Part Two).” The second part of Nick Pinkerton’s interview with the charming filmmaker, whose Marfa Girl and The Smell of Us are both now making the rounds.
“Tony Scott did a review of Bully, and never talks about the fucking movie, just attacks me, attacks me, attacks me. He said pornographers have more integrity than I do. First of all, I have more integrity than almost any motherfucker I know. That’s the one thing I do have. I’m very proud of that, that I can make somebody that mad. Here’s this sellout fucking critic that gives some of the worst fucking Hollywood movies of all time good reviews, but everybody else doesn’t, because it’s all politics. Talk about the movie for at least a few sentences in the goddamn review! When the New York Times review came out, John Waters sent me a note saying: ’That’s the best review that you’re ever gonna get. It’s all good for box office.’ That’s a negative review that makes people have to see the movie.”
Video of the Day: Spectre gets a teaser:
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