1. “Why Actors Act Out.” James Franco on Shia LaBeouf’s Recent Antics.
“Actors have been lashing out against their profession and its grip on their public images since at least Marlon Brando. Brando’s performances revolutionized American acting precisely because he didn’t seem to be ’performing,’ in the sense that he wasn’t putting something on as much as he was being. Off-screen he defied the studio system’s control over his image, allowing his weight to fluctuate, choosing roles that were considered beneath him and turning down the Oscar for best actor in 1973. These were acts of rebellion against an industry that practically forces an actor to identify with his persona while at the same time repeatedly wresting it from him.”
2. ”The Counselor: The Movie Oscar Season Forgot.” Last year’s most misunderstood film finally gets a proper release.
“Here we know the basic players but not the size or significance of the game. We aren’t given the rules, but we’re told when someone’s losing. And information—about the cartel, about the deal, about how and why every player is involved—is kept to such a minimum that what remains is only archetypal. It isn’t a morality tale because we never get the sense that the Counselor does anything worth being punished, at least not to this degree. His transgressions, such as they are, have no impression of moral weight (even the way he agrees to get in on the deal is tentative: ’I think I’m in’). It’s like he’s at the table and he’s put all of his money on red, and before he even sees the wheel spin he’s told that no, sorry, it was black. You lose. And the bet was actually for his life.”
3. “Facebook Enters $16 Billion Deal for WhatsApp.” Mark Zuckerberg buys the largest messaging service in the world.
“The frenzy to acquire fast-growing technology start-ups reached new heights on Wednesday as Facebook announced its largest acquisition ever, saying it would pay at least $16 billion for WhatsApp, a text messaging application with 450 million users around the world who pay little or no money for it. The eye-popping price signals the lengths to which Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, will go to protect his company’s turf as the dominant social network on the web, and is sure to fuel the debate on whether consumer Internet companies are overvalued. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, Calif., will pay $4 billion in cash and $12 billion worth of shares for WhatsApp. But the ultimate cost of the deal could rise to $19 billion, with WhatsApp employees and founders receiving an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units, which would vest over the next four years.”
4. “Nostalia for the Rejected.” Glenn Kenny on It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
“Indeed, as someone who claimed to have never cared for the movie for much of his adult life, and who sincerely believed in that claim without ever feeling the need to subject it to much examination, I was slightly surprised when, watching the Blu-ray disc of the movie for the first time back in January, to find it enveloping me in a warmth that was virtually amniotic. Again, I had no memory of ever having seen it whole (I had caught bits and pieces of it on television over the years, my initial reflexive eye-rolling mutating into a snarkily ironic tolerance mutating into an aghast respect for it as a Unique Cinematic Artifact); nor could I really put my finger on the idea of its having held a truly special place in the consciousnesses of the people dearest to me in my childhood. And yet the movie embraced me in the way that has always made me feel the safest and the happiest. This particular emotional state is located in a pre-sleep state in childhood, tucked into my bed, lying maybe on my side, my hands balled up in little non-threatening fists holding tight to the blanket, the sound of the adults downstairs puttering about, chatting and maybe laughing a bit, the ’all is well’ place that led me gently into a dream state.”
5. “Gawker to Quentin Tarantino: We’re Safely Based in the Cayman Islands.” Nick Denton’s company throws up a jurisdictional challenge to the lawsuit over the Hateful Eight leak.
” Gawker has a tropical reason why a judge should dismiss Quentin Tarantino’s lawsuit over a leak of his Hateful Eight script. According to a motion filed Wednesday, ’This Court lacks personal jurisdiction over [Gawker Media Group, Inc.], a Cayman Islands corporation which is not subject to general jurisdiction because it does not have any continuous and systematic contacts with California and is not subject to specific jurisdiction because it does not publish the website at issue in plaintiff’s Complaint and was not involved in any way with the researching, writing, editing, or publishing of the article that is the subject of plaintiff’s Complaint.’”
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