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The Magnificent Seven

Rarely have so many charismatic actors been used in a film that feels quite as soulless as Antoine Fuqua’s update of The Magnificent Seven.

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The Age of Shadows

At 140 minutes, Kim sometimes loses the rhythm of his spy thriller, but he's such a confident filmmaker—and his leading man such a magnetic presence—that…

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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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Thumbnails 2/27/15

1.

"Everything About the Edward Snowden / 'Citizenfour' Lawsuit Is Bats—t Crazy": Motherboard's Jason Koebler breaks down the timeline of bizarre events.

“A very misguided man in Kansas is suing Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras, and the official promoters of ‘Citizenfour’ in one of the most annoyingly insane lawsuits in recent memory. The lawsuit filed in December on behalf of the entire population of the United States, has been pretty well covered elsewhere, but some new developments, not least of which is ‘Citizenfour’’s Oscar win, have made it noteworthy again. The general premise of the suit is that the film contains classified information, so it should be removed from release and re-edited in order to preserve national security. Also, Poitras and Snowden should have to pay the government ‘billions of dollars to achieve restitution’ for the damages done by Snowden's leaks.The plaintiff, Horace Edwards, is a regular guy (as in, not a federal attorney) who identifies himself as a former naval officer. His and his attorney's actions since filing the suit, however, have only gotten more desperate and weird as it becomes ever apparent that the lawsuit is backfiring.Reading the court case from start to finish is like taking a master's course in the Streisand effect and is a dictionary-perfect definition of frivolous litigation. Here is a rough timeline of events, which get increasingly odd as we move along in the proceedings.”

2.

"He Said, She Said: How to Work with Your Spouse on an Indie Film and Not Kill Each Other": At Indiewire, Lawrence Michael Levine and Sophia Takal discuss their experience of working together on the rom-com caper, "Wild Canaries."    

“1. Make him feel like the most important person in the world. Your husband is probably pretty nervous. He's about to make a movie. Probably he wanted to make movies his whole life. Maybe he even tried a couple of times but now he's getting older and he's worried he has nothing to show for himself. It's not true and you know it but he's filled with all these masculine ideas of success. So you encourage him to make a movie. Don't let him give up. Make sure he feels like he's the most talented director ever and make sure you tell him how much you love him and believe in him. Even if telling him that sometimes ends with you yelling at him and telling him to just shut up and make the movie already. 2. Don't let him cast Anna Kendrick instead of you. Maybe people tell you that you look like Anna Kendrick. Or maybe some people think that Anna Kendrick acted in ‘All the Light in the Sky’ when really you did. And maybe some people suggest to your husband that Anna Kendrick could do a great job in the part that your husband wrote for you on account of the fact that she's famous. Don't let that happen. It won't be as much fun for you if you just watch your husband directing your more famous lookalike. Even if casting her might mean that the movie will make a bajillion more dollars.”

3.

"The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden 'black site'": An exceedingly disturbing report from The Guardian's Spencer Ackerman. 

“The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown. Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside. ‘It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,’ said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.”

4.

"In Hollywood, MLK Delivered A Lesser-Known Speech That Resonates Today": NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates unearths memorable words delivered by the iconic orator (click here for a transcript of the program segment). 

“Shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize and coming back from Selma, Ala., where residents were protesting discrimination and repeated police brutality, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a lesser-known speech to a full house at the Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles in 1965. Formally dressed in his dark minister's robes, he told the 1,400 people assembled how much their support meant to those in the thick of the struggle. ‘We are often given new courage and vigor to carry on when we know that there are friends of good will in the background who are supporting us — and we feel this, day in and day out,’ he told the congregation. Initially, King had been scheduled to speak at the temple 20 months earlier, but President John F. Kennedy's assassination postponed that event. This night, mere days after Malcolm X had been assassinated, and days before civil rights activists would march in Selma to demand voting rights, King finally was in Los Angeles. He sat between Rabbi Max Nussbaum and philanthropist Bruce Corwin's father, who was the president of the synagogue. The soaring sanctuary looked then much as it does today. Its velvet-covered chairs face a podium dominated by the temple's ark, which holds a Torah rescued from a Berlin temple as it was being torched by the Nazis.”

5.

"Industry Sets Friday as Global Record Release Day": As reported by Billboard's Andrew Flanagan. 

“After seven months of semi-public back-and-forth, a conversation instigated in part by Aussie piracy and Beyonce's surprise release in December of 2013 has resulted in the global recording industry accepting Friday as the release date for new albums. As reported in August, the shift will take place this summer. According to a statement from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents labels worldwide, a study found that a majority of consumers who bother to care which day new music comes out prefer to hear it on Fridays and Saturdays. ‘Music fans live in the digital world of today,’ wrote IFPI head Frances Moore. ‘Their love for new music doesn't recognize national borders. They want music when it's available on the internet -- not when it's ready to be released in their country. An aligned global release day puts an end to the frustration of not being able to access releases in their country when the music is available in another country.’”

Image of the Day

The Daily Beast's Marlow Stern explores "The Other Side of Stephen Hawking: Strippers, Aliens and Disturbing Abuse Claims." 

Video of the Day

Women You Should Know posted a powerful video from SheKnows Media's Hatch program entitled "Microaggressions" in which "unscripted teen girls discuss hurtful affects of words laden with unintentional discrimination." 

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