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Masterminds

A heist film populated almost entirely by dunderheads; very funny.

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Do Not Resist

A furious and often terrifying documentary about the militarization of US police.

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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 9/26/14

1.

"The Movies' Greatest Pop Music Moments": A smashing list from the staff at The Dissolve, including Noel Murray's appreciation of how Irene Cara's "Flashdance...What a Feeling" is used so ingeniously in "Dogtooth." It's a sequence that must be seen to be believed.

“In Yorgos Lanthimos’ discomforting allegory, ‘Dogtooth,’ a Greek family keeps its children literally walled off from the outside world, making up stories to explain the strange objects and animals (and words) that sometimes drift into the compound. The movie takes place when the kids are young adults, and getting harder to protect. When the unnamed eldest daughter (played by Aggeliki Papoulia) gains access to videotapes of Hollywood movies, she imitates them at odd moments, such as when she and her sister perform a sloppy dance in honor of their parents’ anniversary, and the eldest suddenly breaks off and starts doing Jennifer Beals’ bump and grind from ‘Flashdance.’ Her mother angrily stops her, but it’s too late: the delicious poison of popular culture has seeped in.”

2.

"Filmmakers Get Permission to Use Drones in the U.S.": A rather startling report from Variety's senior editor Ted Johnson. 

“The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Thursday that it will allow the restricted use of unmanned aircraft, or drones, on movie and TV locations. The agency’s approval had been expected. It grants a waiver to six aerial photo and video production companies to use the unmanned aircraft in production. The FAA determined that the drones do not need an FAA certificate of airworthiness based on a finding that they do not a pose a threat to national airspace users or national security. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, FAA administrator Michael Huerta and MPAA chairman Chris Dodd announced the waiver in a press call with reporters on Thursday. Last spring, seven aerial photo and video production companies applied for a waiver from FAA rules to allow the unmanned aircraft to be used on sets. Those granted approval include Astraeus Aerial, Aerial MOB, HeliVideo Productions, Pictorvision Inc., RC Pro Productions Consulting, Vortex Aerial and Snaproll Media. Huerta said that the application of a seventh company, Flying-Cam, was still under consideration as the agency seeks more information.”

3.

"Lena Dunham's New Advice Series Is The Hip Dear Abby You've Always Needed": A delightful sampling of the new web series, "Ask Lena," courtesy of Amanda Scherker at The Huffington Post.

“Lena Dunham's dishing out advice in a new Youtube series, ‘Ask Lena,’ and it's predictably awesome. Each and every episode is worth watching, if not for the great advice, than for the quirky anecdotes. Lena dances with her dog, places awkward, imaginary phone calls to her grandma and concludes episodes with lines like, ‘I don't care if you think I'm fat.’ (Can we get that on a bumper sticker?) Here's the very best advice we learned from ‘Ask Lena’… 1. On being confident in your body: ‘Confidence comes from being happy with my habits, feeling like I can be proud of my life… That doesn’t mean losing 30 pounds, that means taking care of myself and treating myself like precious cargo.’ Lena adds that, after being lots of different weights and sizes, she's learned that being comfortable in your body in the biggest turn-on.”

4.

"Nabokov's 'Lolita' Is Constantly Banned. It's Also a Work of Genius.": The New Republic reprints R.W. Flint's 1957 article exploring the controversy that engulfed Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 masterpiece.

“The second Anchor Review, a pocket-sized magazine-and-reprint-journal of high standards, mildly radical leanings, and rare appearance, would be something to buy even without its 90-page excerpt from the notorious ‘Lolita.’ But emasculated as it is, this first American edition of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel is a major literary event, worth all the attention we can spare. Circulated over here in its Paris edition, it moved one critic to say that ‘it flames with a tremendous perversity of an unexpected kind…’ and is ‘… just about the funniest book I remember having read’; another critic to describe its action as ‘remorseless, simple and inevitable, like a Greek tragedy; or else a mass of absurdities, coincidences, and perverse exfoliations, like a Greek tragedy’; a third critic to decide that ‘’Lolita’ is partly a masterpiece of grotesque comedy, partly an unsubdued wilderness where the wolf howls—a real wolf howling for a real Red Riding Hood.’”

5.

"How Men Talk About Relationships in Rom-Coms: While Playing Sports": The Slate team of Eleanor Kagan, Jesse Paddock and Forrest Wickman present their "Recsposition supercut."

“How do you have your male lead express his feelings about relationships without him looking like a total softy? Have him do it while playing sports. This is the line of thinking romantic comedies have followed again and again, letting men share their feelings only while reassuring us about their masculinity. These men and their best bros don’t talk about relationships while perusing the aisles of the bookstore, trying on clothes or enjoying win with a view of the water—that’s for the female lead to do, with her best friend. Instead, the male love interest retreats into traditionally male spaces to discuss his romantic troubles between jumpshots and swings of the bat. Call it recsposition.”

Image of the Day

Photographer Sandro Miller's marvelously funny and eerie project, "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters," is showcased by Michael Zhang on PetaPixel.  

Video of the Day

Emma Watson evokes memories of vintage Grace Kelly in her eloquent, inspiring and flat-out sublime speech at the UN calling for gender equality with the He For She campaign.


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