1. “2014 Webby Awards.” And the winners are…
“Zach Galifianakis, Jimmy Kimmel, the Jamaican Bobsled Team. All three ruled the Internet at one point over the past year, and are also now winners in what has arguably become the Internet’s most prestigious competition: the Webby Awards. The 18th Annual Webby Award winners are in, and Internet stars like Pharrell Williams, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Jamie Oliver are among those taking home hardware in 2014. Popular startups like Airbnb, Medium, and Twitter-owned Vine were also winners. Mashable also won the Webby Award for Best Business Blog for the third consecutive year, and the fourth time since 2010. (But who’s counting?) The Webby Awards were established in 1996 as a way to honor ’excellence on the Internet,’ according to the company’s website. The awards are broken down into two categories. The Webby Award winners are selected by judges from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, including Tumblr Founder David Karp, House of Cards producer and star Kevin Spacey, and media mogul Arianna Huffington. The Webby People’s Voice Awards are selected by Internet users from more than 200 countries worldwide. This year, more than half a million people participated in the voting, which ended last Thursday. Vice Media (7), Google (5), and Tumblr (4) all scored multiple wins in the People’s Voice categories.”
2. “Waiting for Prince to Be Prince Again.” Ben Greenman on Prince making peace with Warner Bros.
“’The Breakdown’ isn’t formally a part of that Warner deal, but in some ways it is. The song has a sense of pace and space, which are two things that seemed to elude Prince as he rushed headlong into the uncharted waters of self-distributed music. More significant, of course, is what the new arrangement says about artists’ control of their back catalog. The deal turns in large part on the copyright recapture, or a provision that lets artists reacquire their copyrights thirty-five years after an album’s release. Prince’s first album for Warner, For You, was released in 1978, which means that its recapture window is open now, and other albums will quickly follow: his self-titled second release is up this year, with Dirty Mind to follow in 2015 and Controversy in 2016. It appears as though the Warner agreement will allow those albums to flow back to Prince with minimal interference, though only time will tell if the two sides can continue to work together. For now, it’s just a matter of waiting on new music, thinking about old music, and considering the oddity of a world where Prince is once again a Warner artist.”
3. “The curious case of the Japanese remake of Sideways.” David Ehrlich on the curiosity that is Saidoweizu.
“If you haven’t heard of Saidoweizu, it’s probably because the New York Times article from which that quote is sourced amounts to roughly 80 percent of the coverage the film received in the Western world. The movie is listed on a number of popular torrent sites, but most of the trackers are dead—the modern age’s ultimate sign of obscurity. You can pay $2.99 to rent Saidoweizu on YouTube, but when you press play the American version starts, as if some algorithm assumed that’s what you actually meant to watch. (It can be found on Amazon’s Instant Video service.) When asked about the film, Alexander Payne’s only response was: ’I’m really delighted. I got a check for it, and the check cleared.’ Paul Giamatti rejected an offer to cameo in the remake, and seemed a bit more miffed about the idea: ’My career hasn’t hit that low yet.’”
4. “George R. R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview.” The novelist goes deep on the future of his books and the TV series they begat.
“Later on, Martin takes me to a small house with a book tower that serves as his office and writing space. (The home where he lives with his second wife, Parris, is nearby.) Martin has been writing since childhood, and started publishing science-fiction short stories just out of college in the early 1970s. They quickly established him as a serious and imaginative writer, telling tales of tragedy and, sometimes, of uncommon and hard-won redemption. He spent much of the Eighties and early Nineties working as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Then in 1991 he began A Game of Thrones, primarily a story about power and family, about the disastrous nature of both war and the human heart, and so far it has shown nobody—including the audience—any mercies. As is apparent in the fourth season, there are no guarantees that anybody in this story is safe.”
5. “Disturbing the Peace: Do the Right Thing at 25.” Simon Abrams on the film’s post-screening Q&A with Spike Lee at Ebertfest.
“Conversation was the thing at last night’s screening, especially since everyone that asked Lee questions were unabashed admirers. There was the college student that first saw Do the Right Thing in 10th grade. Lee teased his young interrogator when he confessed he didn’t remember what the name of his English class was: ’10th grade wasn’t such a long time ago, my man!’ And after him, there was the giddy Gen-X viewer that saw Do the Right Thing with her mother when she was twelve. The latter fan had to have her eyes covered when Mookie traces over Tina’s nipples with ice cubes. ’“Thank God for the left nipple,”’ Lee quoted back at his fan.”
Video of the Day: The trailer for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood:
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