1. “Necessarily the News.” Understanding the explosion of outrage around the announcement of Trevor Noah as the new Daily Show host, says Grantland’s Wesley Morris, requires looking at everything from the state of political satire to the Brian Williams mess to the racial politics of South African popular culture. In other words: It gets really complicated, really quickly.
“If The Daily Show were a sitcom, four-year-old derogatory tweets about women and one’s penis wouldn’t matter. Neither would the fact that Noah’s comedy’s extensive forays into race are humorously unimaginative at best and appalling at worst. But Noah is being handed a now-venerable news program to which there are standards of taste, respect, and propriety, none of which a comedian should be expected to uphold, but which are certainly desired in a newsman. In Noah’s work as the former, he’s run afoul of the latter. Now the questions are, do we move on and wait to see him on the show (which will take months to evaluate)? And what does it mean to do so? Noah not being American (or British) could be bracing. So, too, should his being biracial. Larry Wilmore’s show, primarily about race, frees a Trevor Noah Daily Show from the bedeviling limitations of race without keeping the subject off-limits—and Comedy Central’s new late-night lineup would also put television of any kind in a potentially exciting new place.”
2. “The Enemy of Youth.” Richard Brody on the condescending stance Olivier Assayas strikes throughout Clouds of Sils Maria.
“In Clouds of Sils Maria, Assayas kids himself, or, rather, gulls the viewer into the feeling that he himself feels a little cloistered in the rarefied realm of the art film and magnanimously opens himself up to the invigorations of pop movie-making and the people (substantial ones, he condescendingly allows) who are engaged in it. It’s as if he suggests that, although his art-film world seems sullied and defiled, impinged upon and marginalized by celebrity culture and mass-market movies, the mainstream realm really does have something to recommend it.”
3. “They Dug Coal Together.” Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins look back on Justified.
“It was my last day and it really snuck up on me, the exchange between those two people. We read it on the page and when we stepped in to do it, it became something completely different. It was very, very cathartic for me, as Boyd, and I think it was for Tim. Boyd needed him to acknowledge that he did love Ava, that that was real, and that their friendship was more than the adversarial dynamic that they had been living in for the last three seasons. That their prior friendship and their mutual struggles amounted to something more than just anger. That was summed up in the phrase, ’We dug coal together.’ I was elated and somehow released from this burden for Boyd after that scene, and I just cried like a baby and just hugged Tim, and hugged and thanked all those incredible people. It’s there one minute and then it’s over.”
4. “The Gamine in Many Guises.” The Line of Beauty: impish but innocent, boyish but feminine, the true gamine is more than just a haircut. As an exhibition devoted to Audrey Hepburn opens in London, Matthew Sweet combs through the history of her signature look
“As her name implies, Madonna’s aesthetic loyalties lie with the baroque; a boudoir baroque of lace and beads, cleavage and crucifixes. The mix suggests a room above a saloon, in a Wild West town, with a Catholic population. This image is from her interregnum period, in the run-up to the release of True Blue. It’s May 1986, and she’s shooting the video for ’Papa Don’t Preach’, rationalising herself into a Roundhead collection of boyish lines and angles—the trim geometry of leather jacket, Modette fringe and those trousers, creased as sharply as if it were her first day at college. She never graduated, though—just a few months later, the bows and curlicues were restored, and she was a Cavalier once more.”
5 “The Sound of Silents.” Film critic and curator Dave Kehr on his quest to restore historic movies.
“MOMA’s film archive was founded in 1935, and is the oldest in the world. A visionary British critic and curator, Iris Barry, was its first curator, and she amassed a remarkable collection of prints. It is nevertheless a relatively small archive compared to the Library of Congress and the UCLA Film &Television Archive, Kehr says. It has the resources to work on around 10 restoration projects a year. ’We have to raise separate funding for each one, so there are lot of different priorities, and tough choices to be made,’ often taking into account matters such as urgency and overall cost. And priorities aren’t always obvious. ’One of the things you learn as an archivist is that if it’s not to your taste, it doesn’t mean that someone in 10, 20 or 30 years from now won’t find it interesting.’ At the same time, he worries about the audiences for some of the films MOMA has in its collection. ’More and more we are going to be the monks in the Dark Ages for the next little while,’ he says. It seems to him that there is a waning interest in what is regarded as the classic period of Hollywood filmmaking. His cut-off point for this is around 1980, when directors from that earlier period were making their final movies and the new generation of Coppola and Scorsese had ’fundamentally changed the aesthetic of American film.’”
Video of the Day: Star Wars:
The Toy Factory The Force Reawakens Awakens gets a new teaser or something:
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