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Citizenfour

Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie…

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Private Violence

A look at the complexity of domestic violence, especially when it comes to the difficulty of prosecuting abusers in a court of law, "Private Violence"…

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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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1.

"Sounds of Cinema: 'Twin Peaks.'" Next Projection's Asher Gelzer Govatos argues that the music of David Lynch's '90s television series stands up next to any film score. 

"It’s amazing how much Lynch and composer Badalamenti do with a restricted palette.  Unlike some modern shows, 'Twin Peaks' does not create separate scores week by week, and there are only a handful of themes beyond the ones discussed.  Mostly the same tunes return again and again, yet they never wear out their welcome.  This is the power of their flexible content; because Badalamenti’s score toes the line between serious and farcical, between just enough and way the hell too much, the show can use the themes in radically different contexts to produce radically different moods.  Like the show itself, the score of 'Twin Peaks' attempts to be everything all at once.  As Whitman said, “Do I contradict myself?"

2.

"A Guide to Our Golden Age of Internet Newsletters." The Awl's Aleksander Chan makes the case for this charmingly dated mode of information dispensation. 

"The email newsletter is the most special of all emails. At their best, they're a miniature rush: This isn't something I have to deal with. This is for me—to enjoy, to ignore, to save for later, and then to be completely done with. Even though we curate and polish our social media profile to project the person we want the world to see (or hope they see), those outfits deny us agency. Control is vaporous. With Miranda July's 'We Think Alone,' I have reclaimed a small sense of digital self-ownership, NSA probes notwithstanding. I've read one of them. It was great. Kirsten Dunst really is killing it with her tart, blithe diction. But actually I've decided to save them all up and enjoy them all at once. Can you do that with tweets? Sure, you can stick them all into a Storify, but you have to read them. You have to know their contents and decode their subtext (and accompanying subtweets). For all the shit we give email and all the hell it puts us through, more should be said for its passiveness. Because email also functions from a previous draft of the social contract that does not makes demands."

3.

"The Rage of Jonathan Franzen." Forget women; hell hath no fury like the novelist scorned. Just ask The Toast's Mallory Orberg. Related: Flavorwire's "From Jonathan Franzen to James Franco: What Your Hate-Clicks Say About You."

"Think of all the women who have never slept with Jonathan Franzen. His anger must grow by the day. Soon it will envelop the world, and we will be forced to bow down in chains before it, and create ziggurats out of human corpses as terrible tribute. Some of these women who Failed To F--k Jonathan Franzen might now be on Twitter, which is wrong because of a German essayist who is now dead. I myself have never had sex with Jonathan Franzen, to the best of my knowledge...Every woman must decide how not to sleep with Jonathan Franzen in her own way. I learned from my grandmother, a wise woman who lived in the forest and only very rarely slept with Jonathan Franzen. She told me once, on a frosty winter night, how best to escape his sexual clutches if I ever encountered him on the path that led to the nearest market town."

4.

"Three Things to Think About Before Using Headphones in Public." Headphones have become a necessary accessory for modern life. Ethan McCarthy for Patheos thinks their ubiquity is a problem.

"When we’re listening to music, a podcast, or even a sermon, we’re focused on the inner life: our own thoughts, pleasures, and edification. To be sure, the inner life is important and worthy of attention and cultivation. But it’s also worth reminding ourselves that when we’re wearing headphones, we aren’t focused on anything else. Nature and other people alike go unnoticed, sometimes to our own (and their) detriment. Using headphones makes us the arbiters of our own experiences. Instead of the outside world working on us in its usual unexpected, often frustrating, but funnily transformative ways, headphones enable us to control what we experience in ways not dissimilar to the way the Internet allows us autocratic control over what we perceive."

5.

"An App To Build a Database of the World's Dreams." By Rebecca J. Rosen for The Atlantic. A new Kickstarter project, "Shadow," aims to collect and analyze the stories that we experience while we sleep. 

"The app's creators have placed a premium on privacy, and nothing will be shared beyond what a user chooses. If academics or other researchers want to access the database, they'll only have access to the content from people who have opted in to their particular study. Currently, when researchers study dreams, they might have access to a trial of a few dozen people -- a few hundred if they are really likely. If SHADOW is successful, scientists will be able to see into the nighttime imaginings of thousands of people.'We're really interested in this idea of making the invisible visible,' founder Hunter Lee Soik says. 'What happens when all these dreams start to come online and give us information about our human condition -- not only on a personal level, but what's the world dreaming about?'"

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Before today's kinder, gentler New York: The 1970s Pamphlet Aimed at Keeping Tourists Out of NYC

VIDEO OF THE DAY

"Slither." A new "American Horror Story" trailer.

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