Weiner is the title of a new documentary about the dismal 2013 New York City mayoral campaign of Anthony Weiner. Considering that Weiner’s run, like his tenure as a U.S. congressman before, was ended by a sexting scandal, the title seems like a mean and juvenile joke. But then again, that’s just his name: Weiner. Tough break, I guess. What are you gonna do? Anyway, the documentary sounds like it’s going to be excellent.
Earlier this week, Rich Juzwiak published a deeply-researched history of director Quentin Tarantino’s love affair with the word “nigger,” a word he has always used liberally in his screenplays. Juzwiak unearthed and examined twenty years worth of Tarantino’s varied and contradictory defenses of his use of the word. He also produced this video, a supercut of every instance of a character in a Tarantino-written film (through 2012’s Django Unchained) saying it. It’s a very long supercut.
No contemporary white public figure has a more involved relationship to the word “nigger” than Quentin Tarantino. He’s used it in screenplays since the beginning of his directing career, he’s been criticized (and defended) by black peers for it, and he’s explained his rationale for it several times in a variety of ways. Americans are obsessed with the word “nigger,” a semantic memento of our country’s shameful founding legacy. But few white artists seem to me more obsessed than Tarantino.
Critic Jordan Hoffman says he once worked for the Wolf of Broadway telemarketing theater tickets: "Listen," I'd say, "an all-deaf cast doing a musical version of Huck Finn may sound a little nuts, but what's the point of getting up in the morning if you don't try something different, right? You want Sunday matinees?"
Inside Job director Charles Ferguson, who in July announced his and CNN’s plans to film a documentary about ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s career, has completely scrapped plans for the film, citing the lack of Clinton acolytes (and enemies) who wanted to cooperate with the production. Writing for The Huffington Post’s Media vertical, Ferguson explains why:
Spike Lee, a very accomplished New York film director and NYU professor, has spent a substantial part of this summer promoting a Kickstarter campaign he'd launched to crowdsource a $1,250,000 budget for his vaguely defined next movie. (On Friday, his $1.25-million goal was met.) One of the ways he'd drummed up publicity for the project was by releasing the academic list of essential movies he considers "the greatest films ever made," a slugsheet of cinematic titles he'd routinely hand out on the first day of class, which we published here.
Clapping for the Wrong Reasons, a short film written and produced by Donald Glover, is 24 minutes and 46 seconds of mysterious, confusing and cryptic visual non-sequiturs. Some feel it's absurd, eccentric to say the least, vague, or bizarre. And finally, some just have no idea "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON."
In this five-minute video essay, filmmaker Ernie Park compares two different versions of a 1953 film: one edited for Hollywood audiences and one for Italian filmgoers. By comparing two different versions of the same footage, the video essay comes across like a think piece on how seemingly cosmetic changes can affect meaning, tone, and content in movies.
Spike Lee, the very accomplished director, producer, and Madison Square Garden defender, has been a film professor at NYU for the last 15 years. Every semester on the first day of class, the former Harvard instructor distributes a list of essential movies he considers "the greatest films ever made," cinematic titles he deems required education for all aspiring directors. Now, Professor Lee has entrusted this academic canon to the electronic world.
Marc Schiller is the co-founder of Wooster Collective, a formative street-art web site launched with his wife Sara in 2003, and the CEO and founder of slick digital brand-strategy firm Bond Strategy and Influence. He is widely surmised to be a close friend of global art-phenomenon Banksy. And today, Schiller enjoyed a bunch of coke with some transvestites.
ONE WEIRD TRICK to Being a Good Person: Here's a newly-conceived and filmed version of David Foster Wallace's 2005 Kenyon commencement speech "This Is Water" (using an abridged version of the original audio), for visual learners among you.
The internet got excited yesterday when an old man living in a Vietnamese jungle identified himself as Sgt. John Hartley Robinson, a US soldier who disappeared in Laos in 1968. Interest spiked in an upcoming documentary about the man, who'd raised a Vietnamese family. There was only problem: He was a liar.