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"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 2/4/2014

1.

"A Personal Note on Allen/Farrow and a Plea for Sanity." By Nathaniel R. ofThe Film Experience.Related:New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivanhas issueswith Times writer Nicholas Kristof, a close friend of Farrow's, giving an institutional platform to Dylan Farrow's accusations.See also: A 1979Joan Didiontakedown of Allen'sManhattan.

"When I was suggesting that people think about the entire history of this case and not just one open letter 20 years later, I was told that this meant I was advocating silencing the victims. Which is a strange charge -- shouldn't we want more than one voice in any complicated situation where whole lives and reputations, and several of them, too, hang in the balance? I understand the passionate advocacy yet even here I find the rhetoric overblown. How is anyone silencing the former Dylan Farrow or even advocating silence? I don't mean to joke, but I kinda have to: If an Open Letter in the New York Times is considered silence, what is shouting?"

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2.

 

"An Interview with Philip Roth: 'The Novelist's Obsession is with Language.'" By Cynthia Haven for The Book Haven, a blog at Stanford University's web site.

"One of the several means of bringing characters to life in fiction is, of course, through what they say and what they don’t say. The dialogue is an expression of their thoughts, beliefs, defenses, wit, repartee, etc., a depiction of their responsive manner in general. I am trying to depict Lonoff’s verbal air of simultaneous aloofness and engagement, and too his pedagogical turn of mind, in this case when he is talking to a young protégée. What a character says is determined by who is being spoken to, what effect is desired, and, of course, by who he or she is and what he or she wants at the moment of speaking. Otherwise it’s just a hubbub of opinions. It’s propaganda."

3.

"Russell Brand: My Life Without Drugs." The actor talks about his own struggles with addiction in context of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death from a drug overdose.

"It is difficult to feel sympathy for these people. It is difficult to regard some bawdy drunk and see them as sick and powerless. It is difficult to suffer the selfishness of a drug addict who will lie to you and steal from you and forgive them and offer them help. Can there be any other disease that renders its victims so unappealing?"


4.

"'Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street' Writer Christina McDowell Gets Book Deal." Nellie Andreeva, for Deadline reports: "Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, has inked a deal for a memoir by Christina McDowell to be published in Spring 2015. The pact comes a month after McDowell made headlines with her LA weekly column An Open Letter To The Makers Of The Wolf Of Wall Street, And The Wolf Himself."  


5.

"The Tonight Show's Forgotten Host: Ernie Kovacs."By Tom Garrett, for

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The Axis of Ego: a piece about how the pioneering TV comic briefly occupied the hot seat.

"One problem Kovacs faces in being remembered by non-aficionados is that much of his work was 'wiped,' a widespread practice of erasing and re-recording over archived tapes that was common in the 1950s and 60s.  Most of Allen’s Tonight! is gone, but there’s enough suriving footage for us to remember the show’s first host.  The New York version of Carson’s Tonight Show is all-but-gone, but he obviously had two more decades of shows that did survive, as well as iconic status. 

By contrast, Kovacs’ relatively short hosting tenure, which took place in the 'wipe-heavy' late 1950s, is, to my knowledge, completely gone – as is most of the work he did on television as a whole."



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