Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
I’m so proud of my cousin, Emmanuel Lubezki, for his BAFTA for Bird Man. Michael Keaton was right — he is a genius and a ‘mentsch’!
Dead Man Down opens in theaters today. I can’t wait to see the outcome of my friend Reid Shane’s hard work!
On my plane ride to London I just caught this gem of a movie - so good I had to share it. From the plot – three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel – you’d never begin to imagine how magical, beautiful, funny, endearing, touching, entertaining, and unassumingly smart and deep this movie is. It seems like a tiny independent production but everything – the casting, the tempo, the acting, the script, and the direction are at the top of anyone’s game.
By Adeena Schlussel on behalf of Daniel Lubetzky
Tom Friedman discusses an appropriately complex documentary, “Precious Life” in this article and then compares its meaning to the appropriately complex reality of the Mideast conflict. Friedman’s point is not to condone Israel’s behavior unilaterally, rather to encourage her opponents to give constructive criticism, which comes from a place of understanding- a place that “Precious Life” depicts very nicely, according to Friedman.
I worry whether my children will grow up in a culture so sterilized and digitized that they will miss out on true human bonds. Maureen Dowd just added to my worries with acute observations about the increasing superficiality of romantic comedies. People no longer fall in love or learn to love as they did in earlier movies. Read the column to join me in my worries.
David Brooks observes in a recent column that our society is increasingly obsessed with self-branding and self-aggrandizement – at the expense of humility and introspection.
He shares this bombshell of data:
In their book, “The Narcissism Epidemic,” Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell cite data to suggest that at least since the 1970s, we have suffered from national self-esteem inflation. They cite my favorite piece of sociological data: In 1950, thousands of teenagers were asked if they considered themselves an “important person.” Twelve percent said yes. In the late 1980s, another few thousand were asked. This time, 80 percent of girls and 77 percent of boys said yes.
That doesn’t make them narcissists in the Gibson mold, but it does suggest that we’ve entered an era where self-branding is on the ascent and the culture of self-effacement is on the decline.
Those who retain the ability to self-evaluate will fare better.
Lev Grossman wrote an excellent article in TIME on how recommendation engines work (ie, for Netflix movie selection, and for Pandora radio selection) and how they can start turning us into boringly homogenous & predictive blockbuster consumers of the same stuff within one safe space.
Alas, when it comes to movie choices, the options and parameters are so many, that suggestions I get are often unreliable.
It is interesting that what we are witnessing right now is just simply the digitization of books formerly printed in paper. For over 500 years, books have been written and conceived with Gutenberg’s guidelines in mind (Gutenberg is the inventor of the mechanical printing press).
But since the advent of computers and now of the Internet, so many new possibilities have emerged – and yet the printed world has barely changed. The advent of the Kindle, the iPad and other portable reading devices has so far simply resulted in turning analog print into digital print, while keeping the same linear prose format.
If you stop to think about it, we are stuck in one model that, while beautiful and applicable for much good, is certainly not the only model to serve all potential needs that books can serve.
Over the coming years, the whole way we think of e-books and just "books" will probably change. One day it will not be "surprising" to read, within a book, interactive pictures and images akin to the ones you see in Harry Potter movies – those quirky 3D moving photos within the wizards’ magical newspapers.
And it is also quite conceivable, indeed likely, that multimedia forms will reinvent how we do storytelling and how we provide information. Why stick to just prose, or just music, or just newspaper, or just video? Why not create new models for information that combine elements of them all?
Why assume that a linear story is best? Why think that a book is necessarily different from a video-game? Someone will come up with a book that merges some elements of a game with different endings. Analog examples already exist. And digital multiple-choice endings already exist. But we have not even begun exploring all the new possibilities presented by electronic "readers."
And why assume that a book needs to first be written and published, then read, then auctioned off to a Hollywood producer who then helps create a movie version of the movie? Someone will surely create a way to inform or entertain that combines elements of both – and more.
The potential for reinvention of the "book" is so far totally untapped.