The most surprising thing about "The Martian" is how relaxed and funny it is.
"Unravelling Man": Kristin Ohlson at Aeon Magazine discusses how the U.S. healthcare system treats those with bipolar disorders.
"I used to have a twangy guitar riff as the ringtone for Hank, a holdover from the days when we were lovers and he delighted me with music and a soft, southern-inflected singing voice. We didn’t talk often since I’d distanced myself from him after he returned to the kind of heavy drinking that had landed him in rehab shortly before I met him in 1993. More than just emotional distance: I had let loose my life in Cleveland and moved to Portland, Oregon, a return to the delicious proximity of family and the coast where I was born. But Hank and I were still friendly, so my only qualm about answering when my phone suddenly twanged on Southeast Belmont was that talking on your phone while driving is illegal here. So I put my phone on speaker and held it to my chest, out of sight."
"Clueless' big confidence sell its small stakes": As apart of the movie of the week feature at The Dissolve, Genevieve Koski writes about the perpetually delightful Clueless.
"It takes Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone) most of Clueless’ 97-minute runtime to reach the conclusion most viewers arrive at sometime within the film’s first 60 seconds: She is just totally clueless. Even if the word itself didn’t pop up on the screen in big, neon-pink-on-green lettering in the opening credits, Cher’s voiceover assertion that she has a “way-normal life for a teenage girl,” juxtaposed against images of Beverly Hills excess—lavish pool parties, hot new cars, computerized outfit-coordination systems—quickly expose her as a hilariously unreliable narrator. And yet the utmost confidence of Cher’s proclamations on life, love, and fashion lend her a sort of blowhard authority, the kind commonly associated with politicians and lawyers—even if what she says isn’t accurate, it sounds like it is. Her knowledge of the world outside the glossy, mirrored walls of her sheltered life is paper-thin, but it doesn’t matter; she can talk the talk (the 15-year-old version of it, anyway), so she doesn’t need to know what she’s talking about, whether it’s the existential value of Ren & Stimpy, or the topics she’s called upon to discuss during first-period debate class."
"13 Awesome and Quirky Commercials Directed by Wes Anderson": The title of this latest list published by Rudie Obias at Mental Floss is rather self-explanatory. Wes Anderson is capable of making anything look good, even Stella Artois.
"While Wes Anderson is best known for his big screen releases, the director has also made a fair number of television commercials—and they're just as distinctive and charming as his feature films."
Artists hate being pigeonholed, especially at the beginning of their careers. When I was starting out as a music critic interviewing new bands, I would often ask what songwriters inspired them, trying to pick up on possible influences. I can’t even remember who it was now, but one front man politely but firmly declined to answer my question. “I don’t want to be put into a box,” he told me. “Journalists are always trying to figure you out or draw some parallel between what you did and what someone else did before you.” That’s a rough paraphrase, but the essence of his point has stayed with me: Critics are so intent on connecting invisible dots, whether within an artist’s work or between his and his predecessors’, that we don’t always take the time to let that work stand on its own. It’s a constant tension between the artist (the butterfly) and the critic (always wanting to pin the butterfly down and add it to his collection)."
"In his 1977 review, critic Andrew Sarris said of William Friedkin’s Sorcerer, “What I can swear to is the total pointlessness of the picture. What Friedkin has managed to fabricate with all his enormous resources is a visual and aural textbook on everything that is wrong with current movies.” It’s a reaction typical of the contemporary response to Friedkin’s massive folly, if a tad hyperbolic. The decades have been kind to Sorcerer, though. The film was recently given a full 4K digital restoration, bringing it back to life and facilitating its continued reassessment. That restoration can soon be seen on Blu-ray, but first it’s doing a theatrical run, including stops at the TIFF Bell Lightbox during their Special Screenings series this month."
This beautiful photo of the Sakura comes from Masato Mukoyama.
For the sake of humanity, I sincerely hope this is not a real documentary. Alas.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
An interview with Michael Shannon on Freeheld, 99 Homes, Boardwalk Empire, and more.
A comparison of Frank Costello in The Departed and Whitey Bulger in Black Mass reveals weaknesses in the latter.