1. “Why Stopping #GamerGate and 8chan Is Important for Everyone—Including GamerGate.” A primer on the toxic culture and terrorism that has destroyed people’s lives and threatens to destroy the free internet.
“Despite all that, five months on, #GamerGate is somehow still with us, an infection that just keeps bouncing back. But it’s different now. The useful idiots—those well-meaning gamers who bought the ’ethics in game journalism’ party line and got unwittingly swept up into a harassment campaign—have mostly departed. What’s left is the rotten core; the hate movement. Per capita, #GamerGate has worsened, its seedy underbelly revealed as the foot soldiers have sidled away embarrassed. It’s not about ethics in game journalism anymore (if it ever was (it wasn’t)). It’s not even about games at all. The ’Gaters left over are those that represent what #GamerGate was always about. These ’Gaters are the ones feverishly devoted to rooting out the ’Social Justice Warriors’ and ’feminazis’ who are supposedly ruining the world for antisocial straight white guys. #GamerGate has always been about ideology, and the stripping-back that has taken place over the past month or two has made that even clearer.”
2. “Inhabiting Wes Anderson’s Universe.” The New York Times’s Penelope Green interviews Matt Zoller Seitz about The Wes Anderson Collection.
“Wes is a very exact, some would say fussy, director. He sort of pre-edits a lot of his films in his imagination and then executes the dreams on film. I think people who don’t like him find him too airless, and they use phrases like ’hermetically sealed’ or ’twee’ to slam him. But I think there’s a tension between the controlled style of the films and their stories that’s fascinating. The stories are often about people discovering the limits of control when faced with trauma, chaos or sudden death. Sometimes it feels like he’s making these obsessive films in order to study the chaos that happens when he’s shooting them, which is something that happens to a degree on every film shoot.”
3. “Is this why Selma was snubbed?” Gene Seymour explains the “brush-fire-level rage” behind the film’s relative dearth of nominations.
“Movie history has many films with black slaves and black victims. It’s much harder to think of a Hollywood movie in which African-Americans are depicted as the active agents of their own salvation. “Selma” is one of those movies. And its relative dearth of worthy nominations is viewed, fairly or not, as a collective snub of not just a movie, but of African-Americans’ vision of their own empowerment.”
4. “On Location with Noir City 13.” Brian Darr, for Fandor, on how San Francisco is the shadowy backdrop for many of Noir City 2014’s unholy matrimony stories.
“Film is a fragile medium, but a properly-preserved photographic image will last longer than the world it records. Moments pass. Actors and extras age and die. Studio sets are torn down. Even natural landscapes are shaped by erosion, development, de- and re-forestation, et cetera. Cities and towns used as authentic filming locations transform as their neighborhoods and landmarks do. In the last few years the city of San Francisco, where I live, has seen the disappearance of iconic cinematic spots like Jimmy Stewart’s Lombard Street apartment from Vertigo (remodeled to unrecognizability in 2012), The Cathedral Hill a.k.a. Jack Tar Hotel from The Conversation (demolished in 2013 and soon to be replaced by a hospital) and the span of the Bay Bridge upon which Dustin Hoffman drives in The Graduate (being dismantled as I write this). Watching a classic film shot on location in a place you’re familiar with provides pleasures distinct from simply enjoying a well-constructed story enacted by compelling performers—although the two categories of delight can be entwined and build on each other. The feedback loop of setting reinforcing character, and vice versa, is a big part of what makes the film noir cycle particularly fascinating to urban moviegoers, especially when they feel a personal connection to one or the other.”
5. “Bamboo-Ceiling TV.” The network tried to turn my memoir into a cornstarch sitcom and me into a mascot for America. Eddie Haung hated that.
“My instincts told me to call a former space traveler. Someone who’d shunned gravity and returned, only to retreat once again: Margaret Cho. I had never met or even talked to Margaret, but I remember her jokes about penises being like snowflakes and still refer to my dick as a six-inch meatball sub. When she wasn’t helping me contextualize my penis in the pantheon of fast-casual sandwiches, she helped me navigate being Asian in America: a spirit guide leading me through San Francisco bookstores, fragrance departments, and Korean dinners. All-American Girl was America’s first Asian—specifically, Korean-American—sitcom, but it got canceled after one season. Asians like myself ate our hopes and dreams by the grain burnt at the bottom of a seasonal stone bowl, vowing to one day return.”
Video of the Day: Sleater-Kinney performs “A New Wave” on Letterman:
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