In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

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Nightcrawler

A perfect engine of corrosive satire, this drama follows the adventures of an amoral cameraman to its logical and unsettling end.

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Horns

There are some clever ideas in the script from Keith Bunin, based on the novel by Joe Hill, but they get mixed up in some…

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Thumbnails 12/18/2013

1.

"2013: The Year 'the Stream' Crested." The Atlantic's Alexis C. Madrigal thinks the the organizing metaphor for the Internet has finally peaked. 

"What was exciting in 2009—this pairing of reverse-chronological content with the expectation that the web's traditional and social media would be real-time— feels like a burden in 2013.The early indications were when people started tossing around ideas like digital sabbaths and talking about FOMO (fear of missing out). But it was easy to think this was a niche feeling only for the media class and its associated hipsters across the country.Nowadays, I think all kinds of people see and feel the tradeoffs of the stream, when they pull their thumbs down at the top of their screens to receive a new updates from their social apps.It is too damn hard to keep up. And most of what's out there is crap."

2.

"On Her Surprise Album, Beyoncé Is a Cultural Chameleon." Bitch's Laina Dawes considers the validity of the singer's assertion that she is a feminist.

"I presume that the addition of a sample from Nigerian poet Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was to help clarify the controversy [of whether she is a feminist], but apparently some didn’t quite get the relevance of Adichie’s musings, even though the power behind this speech has admittedly gotten lost in translation—that perhaps sampling a noted poet and black feminist might, like, mean something…. One of the interesting online responses to Beyoncé is that the album was created for black folks… as in black folks only. African-American blogger Adrienne Marie writes that her “love for Beyoncé feels sacrilegious, miraculous, infinite, inappropriate and healing. And yes of course it’s been building for some time now, but with this album she makes me feel good about being myself.” Global Grind writer Christina Coleman writes similarly, “Beyoncé is really an ode to womanism, feminism or whatever euphemism you might use to describe the empowerment of women, but especially women of color.” Like it or not, I would argue that “Drunk in Love” is a celebration of black love: there is power in the passion Knowles has for her husband in an era in which there is glee in enforcing the belief that the relationships between black men and women are emotionally, socially, and even economically disenfranchised from each other."

3.

"Best of 2013: Top Twelve Horror Movies." Fearnet's Scott Weinberg doesn't think 2013 was as stellar for the horror genre as it was for film in general but he (characteristically) still has some recommendations. First up: "Stoker."

"Oh sure, you'll always find a good batch a horror flicks over any 12-month period, but if you scour the 2013 release calendar you'll notice that A) Hollywood studios released very few horror flicks this year, and B) the indie filmmaker and distributors (as usual) really stepped in to fill that void. With that in mind, here's my list of the Top 12 horror films of the year. Yes, they're ranked in order of 'favorites,' but I firmly recommend each one. My #12 could be your #2. That's why we like art; we all see different things."

4.

"Shia LaBeouf Hopes to 'Work Out a Deal' to Properly Credit Daniel Clowes." The Wrap's Josh Dickey and Jeff Sneider reports that the actor/plagiarist may offer a monetary settlement to the artist whose work he lifted for a short film.

"'In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation,” LaBeouf said in a series of tweets. 'I’m embarrassed that I failed to credit (Clowes) for his original graphic novella Justin M. Damiano, which served as my inspiration. … I fucked up.' LaBeouf’s apology may have backfired, however, as it appears to have been partially plagiarized from Yahoo! Answers, giving his critics even more ammunition. Clowes’ long-time editor Eric Reynolds took issue with the apology in an email to Buzzfeed on Tuesday morning. 'His apology is a non-apology, absolving himself of the fact that he actively misled, at best, and lied, at worst, about the genesis of the film. No one ‘assumes’ authorship for no reason. He implied authorship in the film credits itself, and has gone even further in interviews. He clearly doesn’t get it, and that’s disturbing. I’m not sure if it’s more disturbing that he plagiarized, or that he could rationalize it enough to think it was OK and that he might actually get away with it. Fame clearly breeds a false sense of security.'"

5.

"Why the Ideal Creative Workplace Looks a Lot Like 'Fraggle Rock.'" For The Awl, Elizabeth Stevens thinks the typical corporate environment could be greatly improved by taking cues from a world created in Jim Henson's workshop. 

"'Fraggle Rock' was made a few years before the toppling of the Berlin Wall and aired in countries across the world (the United States, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and eastern Europe). It was key that the show rejected the 'good versus evil' thinking of the Cold War, and introduced the idea of being a global citizen to an emerging Millennial generation during their most formative years. Did Henson stop war? No, but he may have helped change the attitude of the next generation. The very fact that the show had a compelling mission—this dream of peace—made it a peaceful place to work. When employees feel that their company doesn't do good, or that it takes advantage of people, they are more likely to act of out of selfishness or self-interest. People stuck in such corporate treadmills work to pay a mortgages, not to achieve a beautiful vision. I think anyone would much rather work at a place like 'Fraggle Rock,' where, as Henson said, 'trying to do something that makes a positive statement… brings out the best in a lot of people,' and gives them something they'll be 'proud of for a long time.'"

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has confirmed he's working with Neil Gaiman on 'The Sandman.'

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Jay Leno compares the upcoming Russian Olympics to Nazi Germany's. Dang.

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